Crestview Hills, KY- The men's basketball team returned to the court this evening to compete in the Coach Jim Connor Classic hosted by Thomas More College. Their first game of the Classic came against the Berry College Vikings.
The opening minutes saw the Mountaineers roar back from a six point deficit, scoring four straight points to make the score 6-4. Corey Wise's three-point shot helped pull Berea back within two at the 16:12 mark, 11-9. After falling behind by six points, five consecutive points off Anthony Myrks assists by Richard Parker brought the Mountaineers back to one, making the score 17-16. Berry College tried to pull away from Berea using an 8-0 run but the Mountaineers defense held the Vikings offense to just two points over the next four minutes, allowing them to pull within three, 26-23. In their pursuit to take the lead, Myrks hit a lay-up with 2:25 remaining in the half to pull the team within three, 37-34. Berry College pushed their lead to double digits though before going into the locker room with a 46-36 advantage. Parker finished the half with 17 points for Berea.
Wise's lay-up to in the beginning minutes of the second half helped pull the Mountaineers within five points of the lead, 48-43. Back-to-back three-point baskets from the Vikings moved the deficit to 11 points before Berea used a 13-3 run to tie the score at 57. The tie broke in the favor of Berry College but a Parker three-point jump shot knotted the score 62-62. A free throw less than a minute later from Wise gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game. The score became tied for the third time, 66-66, at the 8:05 mark before the Vikings took a three point lead.
Dyonta Bizzle-Brown's dunk with 4:38 left on the clock pulled Berea within one point of the lead, 73-72. Trailing by five with :37 left, Bizzle-Brown hit a three-point jump shot to pull the Mountaineers within two, 83-81. After Berry College split a pair of free throws, Parker threw a pass to Bizzle-Brown behind the three-point line and with two seconds before the final buzzer, Bizzle-Brown launched a shot from behind the line and the team watched it go through the net, tying the game at 84 to extend the game beyond regulation.
The momentum from the buzzer beater shot carried into overtime for Berea as the team scored the first three points of the period. With 2:34 remaining on the clock, the score became tied, before a three-point basket from Stephen Butts and four points from Parker gave the Mountaineers a 97-90 advantage. The scoring streak gave Berea the cushion they needed to walk off the court with a 99-96 victory.
Parker led all scorers with 35 points and tied Bizzle-Brown for the lead in rebounds with nine. Wise and Bizzle-Brown also finished in double figures for the Mountaineers, scoring 20 and 14, respectively. Myrks was the team leader in in assists with seven. Berea shot 47.2% from the field and 44% from behind the arc.
The win moves the team's record to 2-0 as the Mountaineers return to the court tomorrow at 4:00 PM, playing against the host Thomas More College. Follow along with live stats here.