Men’s Basketball on the Rise

The Barclay College men’s basketball schedule leading into Thanksgiving break has been one of the toughest in the country. After playing a host of games against bigger colleges and universities, the Bears found themselves on the road Friday against their first NCCAA Division II opponent of the season and then back at home for a Saturday night game against their third NAIA Division II opponent.

Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Mo.) hosted the Bears on Friday evening. The Bears entered the match hungry for their first win and started the game with a 7-0 run, forcing an early time-out by BBC. Timeouts, however, weren’t going to slow the Bears down on this night. They cruised to a 60-35 halftime lead before closing the game out 113-85 to gain their first win of the 2015-16 season. With such a deep bench, the Bears made huge strides in playing team basketball with 28 assists on 43 made field goals. They had 7 players score 9 or more points with no player playing more than 19 minutes.

On Saturday, the Bears were back at home to face the 5-1 Tigers of Central Christian College (McPherson, Kans.). No one would have guessed that the Bears had arrived home in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday to take on a quality NAIA opponent in CCC. The Bears, outsized and out-athleticized, went toe-to-toe with Tigers. The first half was back-and-forth throughout before the Bears capitalized on a three pointer at the buzzer to take a four point lead into intermission. An offensive drought, in which the Bears scored just three points over the first seven minutes of the second half, put the Bears in a hole. However, because of their scrappy and persistent defense, the Bears had ample opportunities to pull out their second consecutive win. They trailed by just two points with less than two minutes left and had possession of the ball. Unfortunately, they could only muster one point over those last 100 seconds. They missed three shots to tie or take the lead and the Tigers walked out of Hockett Auditorium with an 86-81 victory.

The Bears were paced by junior Jay Bradley Jr. (Wichita, Kans.) who posted a game high 28 points on 6-14 shooting from downtown. In addition, senior Charles Brodhead (Lompoc, Calif.) chipped in 22 points.

Next up for the Bears (1-5, 0-0) is a matchup with #1 ranked Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College (Moore, Okla.) on Tuesday night before Thanksgiving.