|Nov. 8, 2016|
|Oakwood University||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#23 M Middleton - 22||Points||#20 Tyler Yoder - 14|
|#24 Abrams - 14||Rebounds||#24 Brice Cusick - 13|
|#10 Felps - 4||Assists||#3 Oteriah Lee - 4|
|Oakwood University||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|52.7% (29 - 55)||Field Goals %||34.9% (22 - 63)|
|29.2% (7 - 24)||3 Point Field Goals %||25% (8 - 32)|
|71.4% (10 - 14)||Free Throws||70.4% (19 - 27)|
|4||2nd Chance Pts||12|
Dayton, Tenn. – The Bryan Lions Men's Basketball team met up with the Ambassadors of Oakwood University (Ala.) for the second time this season on Tuesday night, but instead of outlasting the Ambassadors by a narrow margin like the Lions did in their season opener, 65-60, Oakwood pieced together a 45-34 second half performance to come away victorious with a close 75-71 final. Oakwood has proved to be a team to watch for this season after dropping an impressive Talladega College (Ala.) side twice, defeating Bluefield College (Va.), and losing to notables Faulkner University (Ala.) and Cumberland University (Tenn.) by a one-shot difference in each contest. Bryan entered the game against Oakwood coming off two disappointing losses where the Lions lost to a Webber International (Fla.) team by two points and traveled to Hiwassee College (Tenn.) where the Tigers prevailed by a mere three points in an 81-78 victory. Thus far, Bryan posts an overall record of 1-3 but the difference in the final scores of all the games adds up to just 14 points. The Lions do not begin Appalachian Athletic Conference play until Nov. 16, when they travel to Barbourville, Ky. to take on the 11th ranked Union College Bulldogs.
Despite Oakwood controlling a better shooting percentage in the first half, 47.8 percent to Bryan's 38.2 percent, the Lions used five made three-pointers and six foul shots to jump ahead 37-30 after the first 20 minutes of play. A two-point attempt by Reagan Johnson (JR/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and jumper knocked down by Tyrell Clary (JR/Madison, Ala.) 11 minutes into the game provided Bryan with their largest lead of the first half, 22-13. Near the seven-minute mark, a turnover by the Lions and fast break layup by the Ambassadors cut the deficit to one, 24-23. Bryan continued to hold off Oakwood until a shot was made from downtown with 3:47 on the clock, tying the game at 30-30. Over the next three minutes, the Lions held the Ambassadors scoreless and built their lead to 37-30 as a result by Brice Cusick (JR/Jefferson City, Tenn.) making 1-of-2 free throws, Wray Fuller (JR/Jackson, Tenn.) scoring from inside, a bucket from Cusick, and a drive and successful layup while drawing the foul by Fuller. Cusick led the Lions at the half with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Johnson led with three assists.
Oakwood struck first as the second half got underway with a quick score, making it 37-32, but Bryan countered with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to secure a comfortable 14-point lead, 48-34. Their double-digit lead dipped into the single digits with 12 and a half minutes remaining, but the Lions clawed their way back to a 10-point lead, 54-44, with 10:42 left to play. With six minutes on the clock, the Ambassadors had slowly chipped away at the lead until they leveled the score 59-59. The tie didn't last long as Oakwood hit two crucial three-pointers to regain the lead 65-59, which they hadn't controlled since the first minute after tipoff. The Ambassadors went ahead 72-63 for their largest advantage of the night with two minutes remaining. In a desperation attempt, the Lions were forced to foul and send Oakwood to the foul line. Fortunately, the Ambassadors struggled to hit several key free throws, allowing Bryan a chance back into the game. Two made free throws by Oteriah Lee (JR/Knoxville, Tenn.) with 39 seconds left made it a four-point ballgame, 72-68. The Lions fouled an Ambassador who maintained composure while increasing the lead back to six for Oakwood with two made free throws, 74-68. Bryan inbounded the ball, and Lee found Tyler Yoder (JR/Crossville, Tenn.) who sank a clutch shot from downtown, making it a one-possession game, 74-71. The Ambassadors followed with 1-of-2 foul shots made in the final seconds, pushing the lead back to four at 75-71. The margin proved too large for the home team as they lost 75-71.
For the game, Bryan shot 52.7 percent from the field, 29.2 percent behind the arc, and 71.4 percent from the foul line. The rebound battle went the Lions' way as they corralled 38 to the Ambassadors' 34. The Lions were led by Yoder with 14 points after shooting 4-of-11, while 4-of-9 of the attempts were beyond the three-point line. He also was 2-of-2 at the free throw line and aided with five rebounds. Four other Bryan players finished with double-digits in scoring. Both Cusick and Lee notched 13 points, respectively, while Cusick was 4-of-10 (5-of-8 at the free throw line) and Lee went 3-of-5 (6-of-7 at the free throw line). Cusick had a team-high 13 rebounds, and Lee led the team with four assists. 12 points were tallied by Clary who went 4-of-7 in the game and 4-of-7 from the foul line. Fuller added 11 points after shooting 4-of-17 from the field. Johnson was efficient after finishing 3-of-9 and 2-of-6 from the three for eight points.
The Lions hit the road this weekend as they travel to Bethel University (Tenn.) who are hosting Bryan and Blue Mountain College (Miss.) in the Chick-Fil-A Classic Nov. 11-12. Up first for Bryan is a matchup versus Bethel on Friday with tipoff slated for 8pm. On Saturday the Lions play the BMC Toppers at 2pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Men's Basketball schedule, click here.