Bruins women win one, lose one at Tip-Off Classic tournament

The BJU Bruins women’s basketball team lost to Thomas University and beat Trinity Baptist College in the Tip-Off Classic tournament last weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.

With a loss Friday night to the Thomas University Night Hawks by a score of 82-32, and a 65-61 win Saturday over the host Trinity Baptist College Eagles, the Bruins women’s record sits at 1-4 on the young season.

In the first game, against Thomas University, the Bruins lost seniors Breanna Bullard and captain Kourtney Hoefler to injuries.

The Night Hawks used physical play to fuel an early 23-0 run, and there was no turning back. The untimely injuries were just too much to overcome for the Bruins as Thomas University’s talented squad ran away with the lopsided win.

But Saturday, in the second game of the Tip-Off Classic, the Bruins fought off the opposing Trinity Eagles for their first win of the season. BJU relied on excellent shooting from three-point range as they shot 40 percent from behind the arc compared to 37 percent overall.

“There were definitely spurts where we played well,” Head Coach Mike LeViere said after the game. “We shot the ball much better, our shot selection was better. It was nice to knock down some shots after a tough night on Friday.”

LeViere also said there are many aspects of the game the team needs to work on, including reducing the number of turnovers. The Bruins turned the ball over 29 times Friday and 24 times Saturday.

There were several positive aspects that LeViere was able to take away from the Tip-Off Classic.

He appreciated the attitudes that were displayed after the rough loss Friday, and the team’s ability to bounce back Saturday.

“This year our team is really balanced, on the inside and the outside,” LeViere said. “Our outside shooting should continue to be a problem for other teams. It really speaks to our [team’s] character to come back from starting 0-4 and being competitive the day after.”

Despite the lack of wins to start off the 2014-15 basketball campaign, LeViere still believes this team possesses the talent and work ethic to achieve a successful season. Wins will not come easy, especially if the Bruins lose Hoefler, but he understands how to ready the team for a postseason run.

LeViere led the team to a 19-11 record last winter with a run in the NCCAA South Regional tournament.