Knoxville, TN- Less than 24 hours after collecting a 52 point win against UC-Clermont, the men's basketball team returned to the hardwood. This afternoon they traveled to Knoxville, TN to take on the Johnson University Royals.
Johnson University took control of the game first as they scored the first eight points and found themselves leading 10-1 at the 15:34 mark in the first half. Trailing 16-8, the Mountaineers used a 14-4 run to take their first lead of the game 22-20 at the 9:30 mark. The Royals eventually retook the lead and used the momentum to head to the locker rooms with a 45-40 advantage.
Berea came out strong to begin the second half as Anthony Myrks' pass to Richard Parker at the top of the key led to a three point shot which cut the deficit to just two, 47-45. The teams found themselves tied at 50 at the 18:01 mark before Johnson University broke the tie with a three point shot. But Parker came right back with a three point basket of his own to start a spree of seven straight points, the exclamation point put on by Corey Wise's dunk to give the Mountaineers a four point lead, 57-53. Berea continued to push out their advantage when Parker's three point play at the 14:00 mark gave the team an 11 point lead. The Royals did not fold though, scoring the next eight points to move within three points of the Mountaineers, 68-65, with 12:24 remaining on the clock. The pressure would not get to Berea though as Dyonta Bizzle-Brown's three point basket pushed the lead back out to 10 points. The Royals bounced back though as they tied the score 82-82 before Parker broke the tie with a contested lay-up, helping propel the Mountaineers to score the next eight points to take a 90-82 lead with 5:05 left in the game. Johnson University was able to bring the score back to within four points, but Berea hit the clutch free throws down the stretch they needed to win and took the road victory 106-96.
Parker led the team in scoring with 41 points, including 6-12 from behind the arc and 11-12 from the charity stripe. This is the second time this season Parker has scored 40 or more points. The other double digits scorers for the Mountaineers were Wise, who finished with 20, Myrks with 14, including 8-8 from the free throw line, and Ethan Harris with 11. Bizzle-Brown led the way on the boards with nine. Myrks also finished with nine assists and two steals.
This is the 14th win for the Mountaineers this season as they move towards bid day. The team will return to the road when they travel to Madisonville, TN to take on Hiwasse College, a team they defeated 83-75 earlier this season. This game is scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 9th at 8:00 PM.