Following the women’s game, the Bruins men looked to end a two-game losing streak. End that streak they did, as they edged past Southern Wesleyan University 72-65. The Warriors are a tough, physical team, and it took aggressive defense and a productive offense to topple them.
“Biggest win in Bob Jones University history tonight,” senior Evan Brondyke said after the game.
The Warriors are undoubtedly the highest-level team the Bruins have beaten in the young team’s history. The game began with senior Zach Mercado hitting a 3-pointer. That was the tone the Bruins wanted to establish early: offensive proficiency while maintaining a defensive mindset. The Bruins pushed hard from the start and were rewarded with a double-digit cushion with mere minutes remaining in the half. But the Warriors did not allow the Bruins to remain comfortable. They retaliated with an incredible 16-0 run to end the half, putting them ahead 31-25.
“We know we have not reached our potential yet,” sophomore Kyle Turner said. “We and [coach] know and believe that establishing our defense is one of the biggest steps in that direction.”
The Bruins showed glimpses of that potential in the second half. Their defense, as proved in sports so often, led to a more productive offense as they controlled momentum and possession. The Bruins were able to fight for the entirety of the half, due in part to more frequent substitutions that kept players fresh. Sophomore Larry Taylor led the Bruins with 19 points, junior Darnel Antoine added 18 points, and Mercado chipped in with 13. The Bruins men are now 11-13.