The Bob Jones University Bruins men’s basketball team had a record-breaking season, including their first win over an NCAA D1 school, but finished the season 15–16 with a loss in the regional semifinal.
As the season started, the Bruins began extremely well, racking up six straight wins, including overcoming a 15-point deficit for a huge win over USC Upstate, a NCAA D1 school. The victory was one of the biggest in program history.
The Emmanuel College Lions broke BJU’s winning streak in November, starting a five-game slide for the Bruins. BJU finally snapped out of the losing streak with a win over Piedmont International University just before Christmas break.
During the break, the Bruins were able to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico. They played against University Metropolitan and won 85–80 before taking down the University of Puerto Rico Humacao 49–47.
As they came back for the spring semester, the Bruins had a terrific win over the Pensacola Christian College Eagles 92–62.
The Davis Field House set an attendance record for the game with almost 4,000 spectators. The game was the second highest attendance in BJU history.
Shawn Lipscomb set the school record with 14 assists, and five different players scored in double figures as they dominated the Eagles.
The Bruins set another record shortly after when they defeated Warren Wilson 107-94—the most points scored in BJU history.
Marshall Riddle shot 16–19 from the free throw line while leading the team with 31 total points.
“We went through a lot of adversity this season, but what I will take away from this season is learning from the seniors,” Marshall Riddle said.
As the season came to a close, the Bruins won their last game of the regular season against the College of Faith 102–84 on Senior Night.
It was great night for the four senior Bruins as the fans said their goodbyes to Ray Holden, Kyle Turner, Kirtis Yurchak and Noah Smith—seniors who contributed so much to the young program.
“[The seniors] have invested in me and the program here,” Neal Ring said. “Noah is a deep thinker, and always challenged me to think deeper. Kirtis was a big part of our success and has always done what we asked him to do. Ray is a guy who has a lot of people pulling on him; he has a lot of responsibility. Kyle started from day one with big things and has played with a passion from day one. These guys are not just basketball players to me, because they believed in what we were trying to do here. We are much better off because of them.”
The Bruins finished their season with a loss against the Carver College Cougars in the semifinal of the NCCAA DI South Regional Playoffs.
All in all, the team had a strong season but will miss the seniors who had such an impact on the program from the very beginning. Head coach Neal Ring does have a solid base to continue building the program.
Marshall Riddle led the team with 471 total season points. Kyle Turner had 385 total points and 248 rebounds.