New Look Bears Hang Tough

Friday night, the Barclay College Bears Men’s Basketball team took to the court at Hockett Auditorium for their first action since December 6th, 2014. After the month long sabbatical, the Bears new look roster featured just eight returning players from the Fall semester and to welcome them into 2015 was National Christian College Athletic Association Division I Ecclesia College (Springdale, AR). Then on Saturday afternoon the Bears hosted fellow NCCAA Division II Southwest Region member Arlington Baptist College (Arlington, TX).

Going into the match-up Friday evening, the Bears new what faced them in the Royals. It was going to come down to the battle of the boards. Ecclesia’s roster featured a multitude of athletic players 6’4” and taller who would be relentless on the boards. Early on action was back and forth. Neither team gained separation and the score was gridlocked at 30 after the first twenty minutes.

Even though the Bears converted on a steal and lay-up to start the second half, it was the Royals who managed to build a double digit lead mid-way through the second half. Around the six minute mark, however, the Bears made their push and cut the lead all the way to one point. The Bears had the ball, trailing by one, but were unable to convert and the Royals held on for a 78-71 road win. The Royals stayed true to their scouting report by grabbing 21 offensive rebounds and outrebounding the Bears 46-29.

The Bears led by Junior Charles Brodhead’s (Lompoc, CA) 18 points and 9 rebounds and Senior Tony Graham’s (Baltimore, MD) 17 points. In addition, Sophomore point guard Cole Hibler (Ponca City, OK) chipped in 13 points and dropped 7 dimes.

It was a quick turn-around for the Bears on Saturday afternoon, but they seemed up to the challenge. The Patriots, a top five team in the country all season long, were in for a long afternoon. Both teams were forced to overcome early foul trouble as the Bears kept pace with the Patriots by connecting on 5 of 10 from deep. In the closing seconds of the first half, the Bears riffled two passes up the sideline following a missed free throw by the Patriots to score a lay-up at the buzzer. The play not only brought the crowd to their feet but also cut the Patriot lead to just five at intermission, 43-38.

In the second half, Sophomore shooting guard David Lewis (Minden, LA) continued the Bears hot shooting from three to keep them within striking distance. He finished the game 4-5 from long range. Outside of Lewis, however, the Bears went ice cold from the field, shooting just 35% from the field for the half. Around the 8 minute mark, the Patriot’s shooting guard Josh Green, took advantage of the Bears frigid shooting and helped stretch the Patriot lead to double digits as he scored 23 of his game high 36 points in the second half. From there the Patriots wore down the Bears to walk out of Hockett Auditorium with a 104-75 win.

Graham led the Bears with 23 points. Freshman Rayshawn Palmer’s (Kissimmee, FL) 11 points and Lewis’s 12 were the only other Bears to reach double digits.

The Bears dropped to 3-9 overall on the season. They play again Tuesday, January 13th against University of the Ozarks (Clarksville, AR) at 7:30 PM CST in Haviland, KS.