The Bruins men’s basketball team’s two most recent games resulted in a 78-60 loss to the Milligan College Buffaloes and a 87-81 win over the Columbia International University Rams.
The first game against Milligan College placed the Bruins against an undefeated opponent.
The Buffaloes immediately attacked the hoop and quickly took an 8-0 lead. Despite adjustments, the Bruins faced an uphill climb on the defensive and offensive ends. Shooting just 14 percent from the 3-point line, the Bruins were unable to regain a lead and allowed Milligan a 7-0 run that resulted in a halftime score of 37-21.
After sputtering in the beginning of the second half, the Bruins’ scoring machine roared to life. Hitting 50 percent of field goals and 67 percent of their 3-pointers, the team also made it to the free-throw line 24 times. Despite the Bruins’ late burst, the Buffaloes held on to their lead to the end.
“In the second half we were able to use some things that worked offensively, which should give us some confidence moving forward,” Coach Neal Ring said. “Our goal as a team is to be better today than we were yesterday, and I felt like we were better today.”
The high scorers of the game were junior Kyle Turner and freshman Dustin Killough, contributing 16 points each.
On Tuesday the Bruins clawed their way to a win against the Columbia International University Rams. Having played and won against the Rams twice last season, the Bruins had a legacy to defend.
Both teams scored early on, with neither gaining an advantage. But a high field-goal percentage edged the Rams past the Bruins.
The teams went back and forth, trading basket for basket. As soon as the Bruins would chip away at the score, the Rams would retaliate with a run of their own. Despite consistently attacking the basket, the Bruins went to the locker room at half time down 50-39.
The Bruins ramped up the team effort in the second half and stole the show. Starting off with an 8-0 run, they tore away at the deficit.
The team opened up the floor with clean passing, allowing junior Ray Holden to penetrate in the lane, all the way to the hoop. Capitalizing on a 3-pointer from freshman Marshall Riddle, the Bruins took the lead and never looked back.
Relentless effort resulted in numerous second chance points, and the defense forced 17 turnovers from the Rams. With the final scoreboard at 87-81, the team edged a win over a worthy opponent.
“Our team learned tonight that we are never out of the game,” Ring said. “This win should give us confidence going forward this season.”
With four players reaching double digits and the team converting 26 points from turnovers, the Bruins have good reason to feel confident. They will play next at home in the BMW Bruin Invitational this weekend.