|Truett McConnell (Ga.)||27||42||69|
|Feb. 18, 2017|
|Truett McConnell (Ga.)||Indv. Leaders||Bryan College|
|#23 Mario Westbrooks - 19||Points||#3 Oteriah Lee - 25|
|#23 Mario Westbrooks - 8||Rebounds||3 Players - 5|
|2 Players (#1,#5) - 2||Assists||#3 Oteriah Lee - 4|
|Truett McConnell (Ga.)||Team Statistics||Bryan College|
|43.6% (24 - 55)||Field Goals %||43.1% (22 - 51)|
|25% (5 - 20)||3 Point Field Goals %||27.3% (3 - 11)|
|80% (16 - 20)||Free Throws||85.2% (23 - 27)|
|14||2nd Chance Pts||2|
Dayton, Tenn. – The Bryan College Lions Men's Basketball team overcame a 10-point deficit in the opening half for a 28-27 advantage entering the break and then fell behind by as many as 17 points in the closing period but battled back to tie the game 61-61 with four a half minutes remaining. Two tied points and five lead changes later, the Lions were able to stun the Bears of Truett-McConnell University (Ga.) as Oteriah Lee (JR/Knoxville, Tenn.) had two successful drives through the lane and finishes to seal a 70-69 win in their final game of the regular-season. The win improved Bryan's overall record to 10-19 and Appalachian Athletic Conference record to 6-14, while dropping Truett-McConnell to 15-15 overall and 9-11 in conference play.
After falling to the Lions early in the season, the Bears looked to capitalize in the rematch, but Lee made sure that wouldn't happen as he led all players with 25 points, most coming in the second half. He also pulled down four rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists. Another Lion to highlight was Terrance Scales (JR/Cedar Bluff, Ala.) who scored a career-high 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting and was a defensive threat as he swiped five steals. Senior Caleb Tuck (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) made the most of his last home outing as he impressed on the offensive end with 10 points and defensively with two key steals. He shot 2-of-3 behind the arc and was 4-of-4 at the foul line. Reagan Johnson (JR/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) followed with eight points, Tyler Yoder (JR/Crossville, Tenn.) with five points, Riley Dempsey (SO/Dunlap, Tenn.) with four points, and two points apiece by Brice Cusick (JR/Jefferson City, Tenn.) and Evan Ragsdale (FR/Nashville, Tenn.). Johnson, Scales, and Tuck each had five boards, respectively, which led the team in the rebounding column.
Truett-McConnell narrowly edged out Bryan in shooting 43.6 percent compared to 43.1 percent. The Lions dealt a lot of damage at the free throw line as they completed 12-of-12 in the first half and were 11-of-15 in the second period.
Lee found Johnson for the open shot to put the Lions on the board first, but the Bears rallied for 13 unanswered points to regain the lead. Down 20-10, Bryan slowly chipped away at Truett-McConnell's lead and managed to even the score 27-27 and get the go-ahead basket to end the half with two made double bonus free throws by Tuck.
Both teams went back and forth as the second half got underway, but it was the Bears who grabbed the advantage, turning a 41-38 lead into a 12-point difference with an 11-2 run. Lee broke the silence with a basket to make it 52-42, but the Lions were unable to build momentum as Truett-McConnell remained poised and notched seven consecutive points for their largest lead of the game, 59-42, with 10 minutes left to play. The game changer followed as Scales knocked down a pair of free throws, Yoder sank a trey, Dempsey capitalized in the paint, and Lee drew a foul and knocked down both at the foul line. The 9-0 run dropped the difference to eight points. The Bears bumped the lead back to 10 with a pair of free throws, but it was answered with 13 unanswered points by the Lions that put them on top 64-61 with 3:28 on the clock. Truett-McConnell stole the lead back, but two free throws by Lee gave the Lions a 66-65 advantage. The Bears then took their turn at the line with double bonus free throws, but they could only hit one under pressure, which leveled the score 66-66 with one minute remaining. Bryan missed the shot on the next possession, and Truett-McConnell pulled down the rebound and scored on the other end to go ahead 68-66. A foul by the Lions allowed the Bears to complete the and-one play to gain a 69-66 lead, but Lee guided Bryan with a drive and remarkable finish to cut the deficit to one, 69-68. After a timeout called by Bryan, Truett-McConnell would attempt to use their last possession to run down the clock and look to score, leaving only a few seconds for Bryan. The Lions defense completely locked down the Bears and forced them to take a deep contested three-point shot that caught nothing but air, leading to a shot-clock violation. Bryan went without a timeout and used the energy in the building. It was no surprise that Lee was given an isolation at the top of the key, and another player fell victim to him as he made a move and drove his way down the right side of the lane. The shot was put up, high off the glass, fell and rattled around the rim. As the ball dropped through the net, the Lions celebrated with a 70-69 lead as the Bears had to scramble with only a few seconds on the clock. Truett-McConnell launched a long desperation three-pointer, but it drilled the backboard as time expired, giving Bryan the 70-69 victory.
Up next for the Lions is the AAC Tournament, which will take place at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport, Tenn. from Feb. 22 and runs through Feb. 25. It will be a rematch on Feb. 22 at 5:15pm when No. 10 seed Bryan and No. 7 seed Truett-McConnell meet again. The winner will play No. 2 seed Reinhardt University (Ga.) on Feb. 23.
Stay up to date on the AAC Men's Basketball Tournament by visiting the tournament page, click here.