The Bob Jones University Bruins men’s basketball team fell to the Columbia International University Rams Tuesday night at the Davis Field House. The Bruins’ 85-80 loss dropped their record to 14–14.
The Bruins came out hard in the first half, but were met by the Rams’ aggressive offense and even more aggressive defense. The Rams won the tip-off, and Ben Johnson quickly took it to the basket for two. CIU began to pull ahead as they went on a shooting spree. Johnson drained a three, the Bruins could not hit any shots for a few minutes, and the Rams couldn’t miss. The Rams led 18–4 with 14 minutes left in the half.
The Bruins continued to fight and began to attack the rim while trying to claw their way back into contention. Dustin Killough assisted Marshall Riddle for a beautiful layup, but CIU’s Alonzo Green drained a three-pointer, giving the Rams a 53–39 lead into half time.
Kyle Turner, Ray Holden and Marshall Riddle each finished the first half with nine points for the Bruins. The Bruins shot 38 percent in total field goals and 77 percent from the free-throw line.
The Bruins were hungry for a comeback as they came into the second half, but the Rams met them with their fierce defense. Noah Smith hit two three-pointers in a row, sparking a Bruins’ run. Justin Matthews had a fantastic drive to the basket and finished, shortening the Rams’ lead to five with just three minutes left.
Despite the late push, the Bruins could not overcome the big first-half deficit as they lost 85–80. Turner led the team with 21 total points and nine rebounds. Holden contributed 17 total points and 11 rebounds. The Bruins shot 42 percent in total field goals, and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
“We put ourselves in a hole,” head coach Neal Ring said. “It’s frustrating to be down by so much, come so close, and not be able to finish. It was one of those games where in some sense they battled so hard, and in another sense they couldn’t get out of their own way.”
The Bruins look to improve their record as they face the Emmanuel College Lions on March 1 in Franklin Springs, Georgia.
Proceeds from both men’s and women’s games went to support cancer awareness.