Bears Lose SW Region Heartbreaker

Last weekend the Barclay College Bears traveled south to Arlington, TX for their last two games of the first semester. #4 Arlington Baptist College hosted both Southwest Region games as the Bears faced Arlington Friday night and then took on #10 Dallas Christian College (Dallas, TX) on Saturday afternoon in a rematch of their game in Haviland, KS on November 11th.

Friday night, the youthful Bears were eager for a big win. They started the game out with incredible energy. A lob dunk from Sophomore Andre Barnes (Conroe, TX) to Freshman Jay Milton (Paris, TX) ignited the Bears faithful in attendance and helped the Bears jump to an early lead. The Patriots, however, showed great poise to weather the early storm and leaned on their stingy defense to hold the Bears to 28 first half points. Trailing by 14 at the break, the Bears showed no compromise as they dwindled the lead to single digits multiple times in the second half. Missed free throws and an off shooting night for the Bears proved to be their demise as the Patriots held serve at home, 93-75.

Saturday afternoon, Dallas Christian came out sluggish and the Bears capitalized in the first half. They pounded the ball inside over and over again. By halftime, the Bears held a 54-44 advantage and even came out in the first five minutes of the second half and built the lead to 16 points before Dallas made their charge. They threw some pressure at the Bears and the turnovers started to pile up (32) and the lead quickly evaporated. The Crusaders captured the lead around the 7 minute mark and held that lead into the final minutes of the game. Milton nailed a three with 30 second left to cut it to four but the Bears would get no closer, losing 83-91.

Barnes led the Bears with 19 points on 7-9 shooting against Arlington while Senior Tony Graham (Baltimore, MD) and Junior Charles Brodhead (Lompoc, CA) had 21 apiece against Dallas.

The Bears enter Christmas break 3-7 overall and 0-4 in region play with three games left in the region. However, they seem primed for a strong run in Midwest Christian College Conference play. They set 1-1 and the bulk of their conference games are yet to come.

“I’ve said all along that it’s not how you start but it’s how you finish,” said Head Coach Royce Bryan. “From October to now, we have grown leaps and bounds, and I truly believe we have a squad that is capable of beating just about anyone come February and March. Just need to stay the course, not panic, and continue to improve.”

Barclay will be back in action January 9th, 2015 against Ecclesia College in Haviland, KS.