|Brescia (Ky.) 2-1||41||45||86|
|Blue Mountain (Miss.) 0-1||38||45||83|
|Nov. 11, 2016|
|Brescia (Ky.)||Indv. Leaders||Blue Mountain (Miss.)|
|#2 Tavon Johnson - 26||Points||#3 Conner Helvig - 19|
|3 Players - 5||Rebounds||#25 Anfernee Floyd - 9|
|#22 Dillon Geralds - 2||Assists||3 Players - 3|
|Brescia (Ky.)||Team Statistics||Blue Mountain (Miss.)|
|54.9% (28 - 51)||Field Goals %||48.4% (31 - 64)|
|20% (2 - 10)||3 Point Field Goals %||26.7% (4 - 15)|
|80% (28 - 35)||Free Throws||73.9% (17 - 23)|
|14||2nd Chance Pts||14|
McKenzie, Tenn. – The Wildcats of Bethel University (Tenn.) hosted the Bryan College Lions, Toppers of Blue Mountain College (Miss.), and Bearcats of Brescia University (Ky.) in men's hoops action over the weekend in the annual Chick-Fil-A Classic. Unfortunately, the Lions were not able to earn a win as they fell to an impressive side in Bethel 80-70 and were handed a come-from-behind loss after Blue Mountain exploded in the second half for a 55-50 victory. The losses drop Bryan's overall record to 1-5, while Bethel are 4-0 and Blue Mountain are 1-1 this season.
Against the Wildcats on Friday, Nov. 11, Bryan's Tyler Yoder (JR/Crossville, Tenn.) connected on a two-point shot to put the Lions ahead 10-7 as the first half got underway. Bethel countered with six straight points to take a 13-10 lead, which wouldn't be surrendered for the rest of the night. The rest of the half remained close as Bryan didn't allow Bethel's lead to reach double-digits. In the opening half, both teams put up notable numbers as Bryan shot 43.8 percent and Bethel was 50 percent from the floor. The Wildcats had the battle off the glass advantage at the break 14-12.
As the second half unfolded, the home team began to get on a roll as the fans cheered the Wildcats to a 10-point lead with 12:12 remaining. The Lion's Clay Hertel (SO/Nashville, Tenn.) brought the difference back to single-digits when he cashed in the trey, but the Wildcats answered back by building their lead to 58-46. Two made free throws by Wray Fuller (JR/Jackson, Tenn.) closed the margin to 10 points, but a made bucket from three-point territory and two foul shots raised Bethel's lead up to 63-48. The Wildcats kept a comfortable lead until a three-pointer by Oteriah Lee (JR/Knoxville, Tenn.) dropped Bethel's lead to seven points, 74-67, with two minutes left to play. With under a minute to play, two made free throws and a two-point basket by the Wildcats sealed an 80-70 victory.
Lee ended the contest as Bryan's leading scorer with 20 points, while shooting 7-of-14 in the game, 4-of-8 from deep, and 2-of-2 at the foul line. Fuller followed with 13 points, Reagan Johnson (JR/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) tallied 11 points, and Yoder scored 10. Yoder and Johnson led the Lions in the rebounds column with five apiece. Johnson, Lee, and Hertel each had two assists, respectively. Both Lee and Clay managed to swipe three steals apiece in the game.
For the game, Bryan shot 41.3 percent and Bethel connected on 45.2 percent. The Wildcats also had an edge in total rebounds, 40-34. One area that the home team capitalized on was 24 points scored off turnovers, compared to the nine of Bryan's.
Saturday's game between the Toppers and the Lions was a disheartening loss for Bryan as they controlled a 30-19 lead headed into the break, but returned to find a Blue Mountain team with the tenacity to fight till the very end. Even though Bryan led in the first half, both teams displayed impressive shooting. At halftime the Lions were 10-of-19 and 7-of-11 from three-point range, while the Wildcats were shooting 50 percent on 7-of-14 and a perfect 3-of-3 from deep. The Lions trailed in rebounds 9-5 and had given up two turnovers to Bethel's zero turnovers.
The first 13 points of the game were dropped by Bryan with Johnson hitting a deep three-pointer, a two-point shot by Yoder, two back-to-back three's from Yoder, and a made basket in the paint by Fuller. With 10:21 till halftime, the Lions had clawed their way to a remarkable 21-3 lead. By the end of the period, Blue Mountain had cut the deficit to 11, 30-19. Eight minutes into the final half of the game, a three-point shot buried by Johnson increased the Lion's lead to 41-33. What followed was a significant move by the Toppers as they battled for nine unanswered points to get their first lead of the day at 42-41. Leveled 43-43, three free throws by Bethel and a score off a Bryan turnover gave the Toppers a five-point advantage, 48-43. On a second chance opportunity, Lee had grabbed the offensive rebound and scored to make it a one-possession game, 48-45. Jay Howard from Blue Mountain put the Toppers up by five with an easy two points from inside, but Dylan Speck (SO/Lebanon, Tenn.) opened the door for Bryan when he grabbed a defensive rebound, ran the court, and drained a three-pointer to slim the margin to 50-48. All hope was taken away when the Toppers connected on five free throws to take a seven-point lead with 12 seconds left till the final buzzer. Caleb Tuck (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) managed to score a last-second look for Bryan, but Blue Mountain prevailed 55-50.
Yoder was the only Lion to rake in double-digit scoring with 20 points. 18 of those points came on 6-of-9 successful shots beyond the three-point line. Speck aided with eight points by recorded two three's and finishing 2-of-2 at the foul line. Johnson and Lee followed by chipping in six points apiece. Lee led all players with six assists. Yoder was the rebound leader with seven.
Up next for the Lions is a tough Appalachian Athletic Conference opening game against the No. 11 team in the nation, Union College Bulldogs (Ky.), on Wednesday, Nov. 16, with tipoff set for 7:30pm.
For the full Bryan Lions Men's Basketball schedule, click here.