Poor First Half Dooms Bears

Tuesday night the Barclay College men’s basketball played their final regular season Midwest Christian College Conference game on the road in Manhattan, Kan. Manhattan Christian College had won the past six regular season MCCC titles but this season they were in log jam for third place behind the Bears and Faith Baptist Bible College (Ankeny, Iowa). The Bears, on the other hand, entered the game still with a chance to tie for the league title, but it would require them to pull off a rare sweep of the Thunder. Back in early December the Bears beat the Thunder in Haviland by ten points.

At tip-off City Auditorium was lifeless. The stands stood empty and their was no energy in the building, including from the visiting Bears. Their sluggish start compounded by the physical nature of the game led to the Bears trailing by as many as 15 in the opening session, but thanks to a 9-0 run to close out the final three minutes, the Bears entered half trailing by just six points, 37-31.

Early minutes of second half action resembled a large majority of the first, with missed lay-ups and empty offensive possessions. However, the Bears steadily chipped into the lead thanks to steady offense from junior Charles Brodhead (Lompoc, Calif.), who finished with a game high 36 points, and a surge of energy from sophomore Tanner Huck (Coldwater, Kan.) and freshman Jay Milton (Paris, Texas). The lead would then transfer back and forth a plethora of times in the final minutes as neither team was able to get defensive stops. In the final minute, the Bears held a one point lead but suffered turnovers on two of their final four possessions and missed two three pointers to fall 77-80.

Friday and Saturday the Bears (10-12, 7-2) close out the regular season on the road at Rhema Bible in Broken Arrow, Okla. and then in Springdale, Ark. against Ecclesia College on Saturday afternoon.