Bruins men defeat Toccoa Falls, lose to Newberry College

The Bruins men’s basketball team defeated Toccoa Falls College in Georgia with a score of 80-71.

The Bruins entered this week’s two-game road trip with a 5-6 record. Both teams played well early in the half. The Eagles scored six unanswered points, feeding off of the energetic home crowd, but the Bruins countered with eight unanswered points of their own. For the majority of the first half, the teams went back and forth. Near the end of the half, however, sophomore Kyle Turner and junior Zach Mercado were able to control the pace of the game and lead the Bruins to a double-digit advantage going into halftime.

The second half featured close and exciting play. The Eagles, not wanting to go down at home, fought to stay in the game. With just over 13 minutes to play, the Bruins’ lead was cut to six at 50-44. The Bruins were not to be deterred. Zach Mercado hit a 3-pointer late in the game to put the Bruins up by seven, and with the win in sight, the Bruins locked down on defense and furiously dominated the paint. The Bruins took the victory at 80-71 and earned a .500 record.

Next, the Bruins traveled to Newberry College in hopes of moving past the .500 mark. The score remained close early in the game as both teams fought for possession and rebounds. Mercado hit a 3-pointer to put the team up 15-13, and the Wolves answered with a 7-0 run. Newberry retained the momentum for the rest of the first half, ending at the break with a 50-38 lead.

The Bruins came out of the break in hopes of regaining some lost ground, but it didn’t take long for the Wolves to write a different story. The half started with an opening 5-0 run for the Wolves, burying the Bruins in a 17-point hole. BJU couldn’t hold the powerful Newberry offence at bay and were handed a 97-68 loss, taking the team back below .500.

“We need to [stop allowing] so many second chance points for the opposing team,” sophomore Larry Taylor said. “We need to improve on our rebounding and keep the other teams off of the boards.”

The team will host Emmanuel College tonight at 7 p.m. in the DFH.