The BJU Bruins men’s basketball team was unable to snap its 11-game losing streak Friday night, losing 73-59 to the Pensacola Christian College Eagles.
During the first few minutes of the game, the lead flip-flopped between the Bruins and the Eagles. PCC finally established a solid lead 17-11 over BJU. But the Bruins would not be put away and quickly rallied to tie 17-17.
Though unable to capitalize on a few turnovers by the Eagles, the Bruins regained the lead when freshman guard Marshall Riddle broke a tie late in the second half 24-22, electrifying the packed Davis Field House. After a few lead changes, freshman Chae Dexter hit a shot as time expired in the first half to give the Bruins a 33-31 lead headed into halftime.
Junior guard Ray Holden hit the first bucket of the second half for the Bruins, making the score 35-31, but the Eagles soon took control of the game. The two teams continued to exchange hold of the lead, but PCC stormed ahead when they sank three 3-pointers, giving the Eagles a 51-40 lead.
The Bruins had one last surge of energy near the end of the game, bringing them within 9 points of the Eagles at 65-56, but the Eagles’ lead was too much to overcome, and the game resulted in a 73-59 loss for the Bruins.
The Bruins were outscored 42-26 in the second half and struggled to find a way to match the “bigs” of PCC’s interior, including 6-foot-9 senior Jon Andrews who finished with 15 points. PCC shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and hit 60 percent from the field, while BJU went 1-11 from the three-point range and shot just under 27 percent from the field. Riddle led the Bruins’ scoring with 15 points, and Dexter contributed 13 points in his inaugural home game.
In spite of a 12-game slump for the Bruins, impressive performances by freshmen Marshall Riddle, Chae Dexter and Dustin Killough show promise for the future of this team. The Bruins play Toccoa Falls College at home Saturday, and they will rematch PCC on Feb. 7 in Florida.