The Bruins men’s basketball team played their first preseason game Thursday, Oct. 23, opening up the year against the USC Salkehatchie Indians. The Bruins struggled at the outset but finished the game on top, 72-69.
The Bruins got off to a rough start, falling down by double digits within minutes. The Indians pressed from the outset, making it difficult for the Bruins to get the ball down the floor and find a rhythm. The defensive pressure also caused several turnovers throughout, allowing the Indians to stay in the game. The Bruins fought through, however, and found themselves ahead by two at halftime, leading 36-34.
The second half was close, and neither team showed any sign of letting up. The Indians, being a bigger, stronger team made rebounding hard for the smaller Bruins. The Bruins, however, were finding open looks and knocking down shots. The Bruins shot extremely well on the night, feeding off junior Kyle Turner’s 22 points, who shot 73 percent from the field, including three 3-pointers.
Turner, who led the team in scoring, commented on his team’s overall performance. “We showed a lot of offensive potential and shot-making ability. We shot 51 percent, so if we are able to handle teams trying to pressure us, then we will be able to punish them by making open shots,” he said.
Sophomore Corey Turner, new to the team this year and brother to Kyle Turner, was the second leading scorer with 14 points, combining with Kyle for 36 of the team’s 72 points.
Freshman guard Dustin Killough contributed 11 points of his own, as well as bringing the ball down the court for much of the night. In the end, key free throws and layups sealed the deal for the Bruins, who claimed the narrow victory by three points. The Bruins hope to use this win as a springboard as they advance into their season.