The Bruins men’s basketball team took on the Thomas University Night Hawks on Saturday, Nov. 23, and finished with an 83-72 win.
BJU, finally back at home, was coming off an electric win over Columbia International University while the Night Hawks were looking to improve their 5-1 record.
Junior Zach Mercado came out hot and scored 12 of the Bruins’ first 14 points. Despite the early run, the Night Hawks came back and tied the game at 22.
The game stayed close through most of the first half. Going into the break, the Bruins were up 40-35. The team’s coaching staff prepared well for the game, as the Bruins were able to control star Justyn Watkins. Also, the Bruins were stronger on the boards than the last time the two teams met.
BJU continued the pressure in the second half and extended the lead to 45-35. They were able to maintain a sizable lead and the Night Hawks couldn’t fight their way back into the game. The Bruins managed to pull off an 83-72 win over Thomas University.
The Bruins next made the trip to Spartanburg to face the USC Upstate Spartans. The Bruins had their work cut out for them against this NCAA DI competitor in their ESPN3 debut. The pressure weighed on the Bruins, and the Spartans led early. USC Upstate was the bigger team, as evidenced by its dominance on the boards, leading 38-22 at halftime. The story didn’t change in the second half. Despite some rearranging in the Bruins personnel, the Spartans dominated in rebounds and shooting percentage. BJU went down 94-67 to the Spartans, making the Bruins 4-5 on the season.
BJU took on Lincoln Memorial University on the road on Saturday, Nov. 30. The Bruins knew this would be another tough game against the NCAA Railsplitters.
Lincoln started in control and grabbed the early lead, but sophomore Larry Taylor scored 16 in the first half and brought the Bruins within two at one point. But Lincoln Memorial had a hero of their own in Curtis McMillion, whose 13 first-half points and relentless rebounding put the Railsplitters up 43-28 at halftime.
Lincoln Memorial continued to bring it to the Bruins in the second half. Their post play and rebounding made a Bruins comeback impossible. The Railsplitters handed the Bruins a 99-63 loss, and Lincoln Memorial’s McMillion had a personally historic night with 27 points, nine blocks and 20 rebounds. Bruins Larry Taylor had a big night as well, with 29 points, five rebounds and four assists. His performance resulted in a nomination for player of the week.