Both the men’s and women’s Bruins teams were victorious in the Jan. 12 doubleheader against the Toccoa Falls College Eagles.
For the Bruins men, the victory was their first win at home in the Davis Field House. Senior forward Josh Clater scored eight points to give the Bruins a 16-11 lead. But after a couple Bruins turnovers, Toccoa hit a deep 3-pointer to cut the Bruins’ advantage to 18-16.
The Bruins refocused to pull away from their opponents and led 26-19 after a late bucket from sophomore guard Darnel Antoine at the halftime buzzer.
To start the second half, Clater beat the shot clock to score a long 2-pointer and continue his strong play. Clater finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Toccoa briefly tied the game at 28 before a tough floater in the lane from Antoine for the Bruins. Back-to-back jumpers from freshman forward Kyle Turner reestablished the Bruins’ advantage.
Although Toccoa took a 35-34 lead, a clever alley-oop layup from junior guard Jason McVey to junior guard Evan Brondyke put the Bruins ahead once more. A bucket and successful free throw from Bruins guard Ray Holden Jr. kept the Bruins out front 39-38, a lead they would not relinquish. The Bruins won the game 61-53.
The Bruins women won 68-41, but after a sloppy start. After holding a slim 9-8 lead with 13 minutes left in the first half, the Bruins women went on a 19-0 run to stretch the lead to 28-8 over Toccoa.
The Bruins women capitalized on 38 Toccoa turnovers throughout the game. At the start of the second half, sophomore guard Bre Bullard scored five straight points to get her team moving again. With just under 16 minutes left in the game, a steal by sophomore guard Trisha Irving was finished by Bullard to make it 43-19 in favor of the Bruins.
Bullard led all scorers with 16 points, while sophomore guard Chalice Pack and freshman guard Kendra Jeffcott both had 13. Sophomore forward Kourtney Hoefler finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Head Coach Mike LeViere attributed his team’s slow start to the long Christmas break.
“It was a concern coming in. You have to expect it a little bit,” he said.
Bullard said Coach LeViere taught the team how to maintain focus in a lopsided game. “I don’t really look at the clock. Twenty up, twenty down, we play the same way,” she said.