Grayson, KY- The men's basketball team took to the hardwood tonight to play in their final regular season game. Berea traveled to Grayson, KY to take on the Kentucky Christian University Knights, a team they defeated 94-75 earlier in the season in January.
The Mountaineers came out of the gates quick as they scored the first six points, with four coming from Richard Parker, and found themselves with a 6-1 lead with 16:37 remaining in the first half. After seeing the lead cut to just two at the 14:45 mark, Corey Wise's field goal with 13:20 on the clock extended the lead out to five again, 12-7. The score soon became tied though, as the Knights scored the next five points to tie the score at 12 each, before Ethan Harris split a pair of free throws to give the team a brief lead. KCU took their first lead of the game on their next possession and led over the next couple of minutes until Harris' three point jump shot at the 6:27 mark gained Berea the lead back. Over the last six minutes of the first half, the Mountaineers used a 20-10 scoring advantage to go into the locker room ahead 42-31.
The Knights started the second half with a 7-2 run to cut the Berea lead to six, but Anthony Myrks scored four straight points to extend the lead back out to double digits, 48-38, with 17:00 minutes left in the game. Over the next few minutes, the Mountaineers' offense vanished as their lead diminished to single digits, before field goals from Dyllan Harper and Parker once again gave Berea a double digit lead, 54-43, with 14:22 ticks remaining on the clock. Two consecutive three point shots from KCU cut the Mountaineers advantage to just five but made baskets from Myrks and Wise gave the team a nine point cushion, 60-51 with 11:20 left in the ball game. The Knights kept fighting back though, scoring the next six points to bring themselves to within three of Berea before Wise's responded with a basket of his own, extending the lead to five with 8:41 until the final buzzer, making the score 62-57. Dyonta Bizzle-Brown's made shot from beyond the arc and a pair of free throws from Myrks helped the Mountaineers maintain their lead, until a pair of free throws from KCU at the 5:39 mark tied the game at 67 each. Parker was not ready to relinquish the lead though, as his field goal broke the tie and gave Berea a 69-68 advantage with 4:52 remaining on the clock. The Knights took their first lead of the half off of a pair of free throws, but the Mountaineers had the final lead change of the game, as field goals from Wise and Tyler Huff gave the team a three point lead they continued to build on. Berea made the free throws they needed to hold the lead down the stretch and came home with an 81-73 victory in their final regular season game.
The Mountaineers had three players score in double figures, led by Parker's 22 points, including a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe. Joining Parker in double digits was Wise with 18 and Myrks with 16, who also shot 100% from the free throw line, going 8-8. Huff came off the bench to lead the team in rebounding with ten. Myrks also finished the game with three steals.
Berea finishes the regular season with a 16-8 and came into the most recent polls ranked #8 as they await bid day. The broadcast for the selection show can be heard here.