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Bruins men’s basketball team claims top spot

The Bruins played two games, the first against No. 5 Pensacola Christian College, and the second against No. 3 Trinity College. The Bruins have won their last 13 games in a row and are rolling into the national tournament with a 20-10 record and the No. 2 seed in their division.

“I am so proud of these guys,” Bruins head coach Burton Uwarow said.

“We are really tired and really beat up, but these guys gave it everything they had. This was a very physical tournament, and we are so fortunate to still be playing.”

The Bruins defeated PCC Friday night on PCC’s home turf in  front of a packed-out Pensacola crowd numbering more than 1,500 fans.

The Bruins were down early on in the game but got incredible play from Nate Ellenwood and Justin Matthews. Ellenwood scored 28 points and collected 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Matthews scored 10 of his points at the free-throw line and added two steals and two blocks in an all-around stellar effort.

Although the Bruins trailed for a majority of the first half, they cut the PCC lead to one at the half and trailed 38-39 headed into the half-time break.

It was all but over in the second period as the Bruins held the Eagles to just 38 percent shooting from the field. The Bruins strolled to a comfortable eight-point win, finishing off PCC 89-81 in the semifinals.

In the championship game, the Bruins battled the Trinity College Tigers. Dustin Killough led the team in scoring with 29 points.

Nate Ellenwood notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Jayson Barnhart added 17 points.

The Bruins were up by 16 points at halftime and coasted to an 83-76 win and a spot in the national championship.

The NCCAA DII National Championship Tournament will be held at BJU March 7 through 10.

Holding the tournament on campus will allow the Bruins’ teams the home team advantage. The University will host eleven other Christian colleges from around the country.

Bruins Athletics encourages students to come support the Bruins as they play for the No. 1 spot. The men’s team is the
No. 2-ranked team, and the women’s team is ranked No. 5.