West Point, Ga. – The Bryan Lions Men's Basketball team extended their win-streak to four games after knocking off conference opponent, Point University (Ga.), last night on the road with an 88-79 win.
Four Lions ended the contest with big performances, led by Brandon Cole (SR/Crossville, Tenn.) with his eighth double double of the season. His efforts gave way to 30 points, 22 coming in the second half, and 12 rebounds. The Appalachian Athletic Conference leader in total assists (89) and assists per game (5.93), Oteriah Lee (SO/Knoxville, Tenn.), had his second highest offensive outing of the season while shooting 7-for-10 and ending with 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Brice Cusick (SO/Jefferson City, Tenn.) nearly had his second consecutive double double after compiling 14 points, knocking down 4-for-6 from the three-point line, and grabbing nine rebounds. Tyler Yoder (SO/Crossville, Tenn.) added to his three-point count, hitting 2-for-3 from the outside and ending with 10 points. He currently sits atop the AAC in three-point field goals made with 37, while fellow teammate Robert Troino (SR/Crossville, Tenn.) also has 37 on the season.
The Lions dominated the glass, outrebounding the Skyhawks 46-27.
Each team struggled to make any headway in the first half after a total of 13 lead changes and five ties. The last tie of the half came with six minutes left to play until the break. Point made their attempt to regain control by going up 32-29, but Bryan created a 9-2 run to close out the half. Reagan Johnson (SO/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) began the run by finding an open Cusick for the easy basket. Lee dropped the next five points after making a move in the paint and connecting from behind the arc. Cole corralled a missed shot and put it back up for the second chance points as time expired, giving Bryan a 34-38 lead at halftime.
The Lions maintained the lead for the majority of the second half until nine minutes left of play the Skyhawks rallied for a 6-0 run to take a 64-63 lead. Lee ended the run after Terrance Scales (SO/Cedar Bluff, Ala.) rejected a shot from Point and Lee scooped up the ball and put it back in for the quick score. The Lions countered with a 6-0 run to take back the lead and go up 64-69.
Cole handled the pressure with two successful free throws to put the Lions up by eight points with just under two minutes left of play. The lead proved too much for the Skyhawks to overcome as the Lions capped off the night with an 88-79 victory.
After keeping the momentum going and outlasting another conference opponent, Head Bryan Men's Basketball Coach, Don Rekoske said, "I was very pleased with how our guys played. We have now won five of our last six games. I'm proud of our team and it took great effort for us to win this game. Brandon was great in the second half, Brice had a tremendous first half, and Oteriah lead our team from the point guard position extremely well. Just a great win for us on the road."
Bryan improves to 9-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play while Point falls to 3-14 overall and 1-5 in the AAC.
The Lions pick up play on Thursday (Jan. 7th) against tough conference opponent Milligan College (Tenn.) on the road. Tipoff is set for 7:30pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Men's Basketball schedule, click here.