Birmingham, AL - The men's basketball team competed in the Black Tie Classic hosted by Birmingham Southern College, held in Birmingham, AL. In their first match up of the Classic, Berea took on the Blazers of Belhaven University.
The Mountaineers fell behind quickly 8-2 after missing their first eight shots to begin the game. Berea came roaring back as they scored the next five points to cut the deficit to one. But after seeing their six point lead cut to one, the Blazers went on a 6-0 run to take a seven point advantage, 14-7 with 13:20 left in the first half. Over the next few minutes, the Mountaineers clawed their way back into the game, eventually taking their first lead of the game at 15-14 off a Dyonta Bizzle-Brown three point jump shot. With 9:38 left in the first half, Berea would take the lead and never trail again, as a Anthony Myrks lay-up gave the team a 19-18 lead and helped continue a 10-0 run which gave the team a seven point lead. The Mountaineers lead fell to three points at the 4:26 mark but the team used a 9-4 run to end the half, giving them a 36-28 lead at halftime. Dominique Garmon paced Berea in the first half with 12 points.
The Mountaineers scored the first basket of the second half on a Gabe Hinton lay-up off a Jair Jackson steal to extend the team's lead to double digits, but Belhaven used a 10-2 run to cut the lead to single digits at two. But there was no panic in Berea as the team again responded by pushing their lead out to seven. For the rest of the match up, the Mountaineers never led by less than four, with their advantage hovering around seven points for most of the second half until 4:52 mark when the team extended their lead to double digits and kept it in that range for the rest of the game. Berea went on to win their first game of the Classic 76-63.
Four players scored in double figures for Berea, with Garmon leading the way with 23 points, joined by Richard Parker (13), Jackson (12) and Myrks (11). Three players tied for the lead in rebounds with seven (Myrks, Hinton and Bizzle-Brown). Garmon also led the team with four steals.