Bears Basketball Plays Home Opener

The Bears (0-1) early season schedule will prove to be a challenge as they will take on a multitude of scholarship programs which will include three NAIA Division I colleges, one NCAA Division II college, one NCCAA Division I college, and three NAIA Division II colleges. One of those NAIA Division II games was against Graceland University (Lamoni, Iowa) last Tuesday night. It was the Bears first home game of this young season.

Even thought the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 5-0 lead, the Bears tightened up their defense and pulled ahead just minutes into the game. They would hold the lead for a majority of the first half until a handful of turnovers and a few timely threes catapulted Graceland ahead of the Bears in the last five minutes of the first half. Trailing by nine heading into the second half, the Bears were able to stay within striking distance. Once again, the Bears stingy defense gave them a chance. By forcing Graceland into 36 turnovers on the night, the Bears were able to work back into the game. Before anyone knew it, the deficit was just four points with under three minutes to go. In the closing minutes, however, the Yellow Jackets did nothing but shoot free throws in order to preserve a 109-98 road victory. Each team shot 50 free throws on the night.

A multitude of Bears contributed to the close outcome, including five players in double digit scoring. Senior Charles Brodhead (Lompoc, Calif.) poured in 30 points to go along with his 12 rebounds and 4 steals to lead the way, while sophomore Jay Milton (Paris, Texas) added 20 points and 4 rebounds. Junior Cole Hibler (Ponca City, Okla.) dished out 5 assists to go along with 11 points.

Next up for the Bears is a pair of exhibition games against Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas) and Southwestern Christian College (Bethany, Okla.) over the weekend.