The Bob Jones University Bruins fell to the Carver College Cougars 81–77 in the semi-final round of the men’s basketball NCCAA DI South Regional Playoffs on Friday night. The Bruins ended their season 15–16 at the Davis Field House. As the first half started, neither team scored in the first minute and a half of the game due to poor shooting .
The Cougars’ Wasiu Yusuf put the Cougars on the board with a nice shot for two. To counter, Marshall Riddle drained a three-point field goal for the Bruins, and Ray Holden powered to the basket for a huge dunk—causing the mostly pro-BJU crowd to go wild.
The Bruins stayed right with the Cougars, but CC held the lead throughout most of the first half.
The Cougars’ Brannon Hopkins hit a three-pointer, but Riddle kept the Bruins in the game as he made three out of five shots at the three-point line. But in the final few minutes the Bruins had several costly turnovers and gave the Cougars a 39–32 lead going into halftime.
Riddle led the Bruins with 13 total points in the first half. He was followed by Dustin Killough with five points. The Bruins shot 48 percent in total field goals and 67 percent from the free-throw line.
As the second half began, the Bruins came out aggressively in search for a comeback. Killough started the half by hitting a three-point shot, and Kyle Turner had a beautiful layup under pressure as the Bruins fought to lessen the Cougars’ lead.
With nine minutes left in the game, the Cougars still held an eight-point lead. Riddle hit a huge three-pointer, but the Cougars’ Hopkins squashed any momentum by retaliating with a three of his own.
However, the Bruins would not give up. Kendall Allen had a beautiful layup and the Bruins fought back to a three-point game. The comeback fell just short, and the Cougars held on to an 81–77 win.
“I felt like everyone laid it out on the floor tonight, and we have nothing to be ashamed of,” Riddle said. “What I will take with me from this season is learning from the seniors. I am going to miss those guys a lot.”
Riddle led the Bruins with 28 total points and six rebounds. Killough finished with 13 points, and six rebounds.
The Bruins shot 57 percent in total field goals, and 47 percent from the free-throw line.
“We did a lot of things right tonight,” Coach Neal Ring said. “We got some good play from our younger guys in this game. We didn’t play a perfect game, but we played a game that we can build on next year.”