Men’s Basketball Flirts with Upset

Tuesday  night the Bears paused their conference and region schedule for a tough road match-up with Central Christian College (McPherson, Kans.). Central Christian sported a 13-5 record as well as a #8 ranking in the most recent NCCAA Division I poles while the Bears donned their #7 ranking in the Division II national pole.

The first meeting between the two saw the Tigers sneak out of Haviland with a five point victory. However, the Bears showed no signs of intimidation playing a scholarship school on their own turf and were eager to see how much they had improved since their first semester meeting. The Tigers controlled the game early and built a 12 point lead, their largest lead of the night, with 6 minutes left in the first half and carried a 10 point lead into the half, 46-36. This year the Bears Achilles heal has been their second half defensive efficiency, allowing opposing teams to shoot well over 50% from the field over the final 20 minutes of action. Tuesday night saw an end to that trend. The Bears came out and held the Tigers to 2 points over the first 7 minutes to take the lead. With 11 minutes left in the game, the Bears built their lead to as many as 6. In the midst of that run, sophomore Jay Milton (Paris, Texas) energized the Barclay faithful with a powerful break-away dunk. The game went back and forth several times over the next 8 minutes before the Tigers capitalized on some timely three pointers. In the final 3 minutes of the game, the Bears were unable to connect on free-throws to trim the Tiger lead and came up a little short once again, 80-87 was the final.

Junior Jay Bradley (Wichita, Kans.) paced the Bears by shooting a sizzling 11-16 from the field, including 5-6 from long range. In addition to Bradley’s 30 points, Milton, sophomore Key Maloney (Wichita, Kans.) and freshman Quinton Walker (Sulpher Springs, Texas) all scored 11 points each.

Next up for the Bears is a Midwest Christian College Conference showdown in Manhattan, Kans. with powerhouse Manhattan Christian College. Game time is set for 7 pm on Friday night.