|Bryan College 11-19||36||36||72|
|Truett McConnell (Ga.) 15-16||26||41||67|
|Feb. 22, 2017|
|Bryan College||Indv. Leaders||Truett McConnell (Ga.)|
|#3 Oteriah Lee - 19||Points||#21 Jacob Booke - 20|
|#24 Brice Cusick - 12||Rebounds||#21 Jacob Booke - 7|
|2 Players (#3,#24) - 4||Assists||#2 Kai Lambert - 3|
|Bryan College||Team Statistics||Truett McConnell (Ga.)|
|46.3% (25 - 54)||Field Goals %||40.7% (24 - 59)|
|37.5% (9 - 24)||3 Point Field Goals %||40.7% (11 - 27)|
|76.5% (13 - 17)||Free Throws||50% (8 - 16)|
|8||2nd Chance Pts||5|
Kingsport, Tenn. – In the span of five days, Truett-McConnell University (Ga.) has had to face-off with the Bryan College Lions Men's Basketball team and both times have come up short, but on Wednesday it meant the end of the road for the 7th seeded Bears. Last Saturday, Feb. 18, the Lions hosted the Bears in their last game of the regular-season, topping Truett 70-69. On Wednesday, No. 10 seed Bryan was paired with Truett in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament in Kingsport, Tenn. and ended the Bear's season with a 72-67 upset. The win improved Bryan's overall record to 11-19 and dropped Truett to 15-16.
A strong first half is what kept distance between the Lions and Bears, eventually allowing Bryan the narrow victory. The Lions followed tipoff with a 6-0 run with baskets from Reagan Johnson (JR/Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), Terrance Scales (JR/Cedar Bluff, Ala.), and a pair of free throws from Oteriah Lee (JR/Knoxville, Tenn.). The Bears got on the board two and a half minutes into the game, but Cusick found Johnson on the opposite end of the floor for the trey, providing Bryan with a 9-2 lead as the contest got underway. Truett then took their turn as they rallied for 10 unanswered points, taking over the lead 12-9.
Both teams battled back and forth as the 13-minute mark approached, attempting to control a lead and build on it before the break. Trailing 14-11, the Lions leveled the score 14-14 when Johnson connected from deep. The Bears countered with their own three-pointer, but once again Bryan answered back when Caleb Tuck (SR/Dickson, Tenn.) sank a shot from downtown to tie it 17-17. The three's continued to fall as Truett made their next look from three-point territory, but so did big-man Brice Cusick (JR/Jefferson City, Tenn.) for Bryan to even things up 20-20 with 8:21 remaining in the first period. The Bears would go on to notch two more attempts from behind the arc in the half as the Lions exploded for 16 points to secure a 36-26 advantage at halftime. The final two buckets of the opening half for Bryan were back-to-back three's by Tyler Yoder (JR/Crossville, Tenn.).
Bryan battled to go up by as many as 17 points, 55-38, but three of Truett's five successful second-half three-point shots followed to cut the deficit to eight, 55-47. Eventually the Bears closed the gap to three points, 61-58, with 6:21 to go. Lee responded with a successful and-one play, but Truett marched back down the court and threw up a shot from deep to make it a one-point ballgame, 64-61. Over the next two minutes, the Bears managed to stay close and not the Lions out of their sight as they trailed 66-65 with two minutes left to play. The next minute went without a score until Lee provided a clutch basket to gain a 68-65 edge with one minute to go. Truett had an opportunity at the foul line to bring it back to a one-point difference but missed two foul shots. They lucked out and were sent to the free throw line a second time, and they wouldn't allow the opportunity to pass as the Bears sank a pair of free throws to close within two points, 68-67, with just over 30 seconds on the clock. Truett went to fouling Bryan, and Tuck remained poised as he hit two key free throws to give the Lions a 70-67 advantage. The Lions let time wind down before fouling the Bears with 15 seconds to go. Truett was off target on both attempts at the foul line and were forced to send Lee to the line. He connected on both to seal the game 72-67, giving the Lions the win and advancing them to the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Thursday.
Bryan turned the ball over 15 times compared to Truett's nine turnovers, but the Lions made up for it in the rebounding column as they corralled 38 misses and allowed the Bears to snatch up 30. Lee was 5-of-9 from the floor, a perfect 9-of-9 at the foul line, for a team-high 19 points. His four assists matched Cusick for a team-best. Johnson followed with 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting, finishing 3-of-7 behind the arc. Cusick registered his 5th double-double of the season, finishing 5-of-10 for 12 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. The only other Lion to reach double-digits was Yoder with 11 points, finishing 4-of-11, and aiding with nine boards. Scales helped with eight points, five rebounds, and three assists. Tuck scooped up four rebounds and tacked on seven points to round out the scoring.
The Lions continue AAC Tourney action Feb. 23 against No. 2 seed Reinhardt University (Ga.) with tipoff slated for 7:30pm.
For any information regarding the AAC Tournament, visit the tourney page here.
Watch the tournaments live online: AAC GameCentral (Cost: $7.99/game, $19.99/men's tournament, $19.99/women's tournament)
For directions to the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center, please click here.
Tournament Schedule - Printable Bracket