Scales’ Double-double not enough in loss to Truett McConnell
Cleveland, Ga. – Oteriah Lee (SR/Knoxville, Tenn.) scored an impressive 21 points, EJ Bush (FR/Oak Ridge, Tenn.) followed with almost a double-double performance at 15 points and nine rebounds, and Terrance Scales (SR/Cedar Bluff, Ala.) did register a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds but the trio of leaders for the Lions wouldn’t be enough as the Truett McConnell University Bears handed the Bryan College Men’s Basketball team an Appalachian Athletic Conference loss Tuesday night, 79-65.
The Lions wouldn’t receive a lot of help as Tyler Yoder (SR/Crossville, Tenn.) and Justin Warner (FR/Rutledge, Tenn.) chipped in six points apiece, Brice Cusick (SR/Jefferson City, Tenn.) added two points, and Isaiah McClain (FR/Harriman, Tenn.) had a lone free throw to round out the only scoring for Bryan. For the game, Truett McConnell completed 43.1 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from the three-point line, and 77.8 percent at the foul line. Bryan struggled, connecting on 35.9 percent in the game, 22.2 percent from deep, and just 56.5 percent on free throws. One area where the Lions did prevail was on the boards, outrebounding the Bears 43-39.
The loss leaves the Lions winless in conference at 0-2 and moves their overall record to 5-4, while the Bears improved to 6-2 overall and 1-2 in AAC play.
Yoder drained a three-pointer and Bush responded with two buckets from inside to give Bryan their one and only lead of the night at 7-6. Truett pieced together an 8-0 run to go out in front 14-7 and never looked back besides one moment at the eight-minute mark when Scales corralled an offensive rebound and capitalized on the second-chance points to tie the ballgame 16-16. The Lions were able to stay close, keeping a single-digits distance away and closed out the first half of play with a made three-pointer from Lee and a score in the paint by Warner to close the gap to four points at halftime, 37-33.
Unfortunately for Bryan, Truett McConnell hit the hardwood running as the second period got underway, making a pair of three’s and an easy two-pointer for a double-figure lead, 45-33. The combination of Lee, Bush, and Scales helped pull the Lions within three points of the Bears at 45-42, but the back-and-forth momentum shifts continued as Truett McConnell rallied for a 15-point edge with 10:44 left in the game, which was the largest lead of the night. With five minutes remaining, Lee sank a three-pointer, Bush finished at the rim, and Scales hit from outside to make it an eight-point game at 67-59, but the Bears answered back with a made trey for a double-digit lead that would be controlled through the final minutes. Truett McConnell was forced to finish the game at the foul line and made 7-of-7 free throws to seal the game 79-65.
Bryan returns after Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, Nov. 28 when they play host to fellow AAC rival Bluefield College (Va.) at 7pm