Coming off a five-game losing streak and an overall record of 3-7, the Bruins showed up raring to win at their Dec. 4 home game against Barber-Scotia College but fell short 86-81. Despite the return of freshman guard Dustin Killough, the Bruins were unable to snap their downward spiral.
The game began with both teams trading baskets and feeling out their opponents. With neither team able to jump ahead in the first few minutes, the score evened out after four minutes at 9-9. Despite having the flu, freshman Marshall Riddle contributed to the early baskets.
The Barber-Scotia Sabers raced ahead in the next 10 minutes, going on a 16-2 run. A mix of three-pointers, jump shots, and layups gave the Sabres a double-digit lead. The Bruins called a timeout, but turnovers continued to plague the home team. Even with all the turnovers, the Bruins clawed their way back and trailed by just 13 points at the half. With the scoreboard at 45-32, the Bruins were within reach of the Sabres.
The halftime break gave the Bruins a chance to focus and mentally prepare for the final 20 minutes. Even after Barber-Scotia built up its lead to 17, the Bruins still hung on. Freshman John Reece and junior Kyle Turner lit a spark that eventually consumed the Sabers’ entire lead. Combining solid defensive play with consistent shooting, the Bruins grabbed a one-point lead with 12 minutes remaining. Growing their lead to six, the Bruins looked as if they could make it a come-from-behind victory.
But the Sabres sliced away at the Bruins’ advantage. Hitting key free throws and three-pointers, the opponents held a one-point lead with six minutes left. The next three minutes had the fans on their feet as both teams battled for those precious game-determining points.
Despite incredible effort, a Bruin victory was not to be. The Sabres held on to their lead and eventually won the game by five points.
With an ending score of 86-81, the Sabres gained their second win of the season while the Bruins recorded their eighth loss.
Coach Neal Ring said, “I thought we showed some great character tonight in being down as much as we were and chipping away at the lead until we got it. Then we made some uncharacteristically bad errors, and it was frustrating to watch our lead slip away, but that is part of learning how to play these kind of games.”