Uniontown, PA- #3 seed Berea used a 13-0 run in the second half to pull away from the #6 seed Florida National University Conquistadors to win their opening round game of the 2017 USCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. Richard Parker's 24 second half points helped the team win by a final score of 90-75.
Florida National scored the first basket of the game to take a 2-0 lead before Dyonta Bizzle-Brown's first three-pointer of the game gave the Mountaineers the lead. Corey Wise's drive to the basket resulted in a layup which gave Berea a 5-4 lead as the clock read 17:29. An 8-1 run started by Terique Miller's three-point basket and concluded with free throws from Parker and Anthony Myrks-Brewer pushed the score to 13-5 in favor of the Mountaineers. Bizzle-Brown's layup at the 10:44 mark gave Berea their first double-digit lead of ten when the score changed to 21-11. After scoring 10 of the next 16 points, the Conquistadors pulled back to within six points of the Mountaineers lead, making the score 27-21. A free throw from Bizzle-Brown followed by his second three-point jumper of the game pushed Berea out ahead by 10 points again, 31-21. Nick McCollum's layup gave the Mountaineers a 36-25 lead as 5:11 remained in the first half. Two free throws from Stephen Butts helped Berea take a 43-32 lead as the teams headed to halftime.
A 7-2 run to open the second half by Florida National made the score 45-42, cutting the Mountaineers lead to just three at the 18:12 mark. By the time the clock reached 14:43, Berea used three three-point jumpers and two layups to score 13 straight points, taking a 16 point lead, 58-42. The first three-point basket of the scoring run was one of Parker's six made three-point baskets in the game, all coming in the second half. As the lead dropped to 11 points, Parker's fourth three-pointer of the second half gave the Mountaineers a 71-57 advantage with 8:35 remaining in the game. Two straight baskets from Wise pushed Berea ahead by 18 points, eclipsing the 80 point mark as the score read 80-62. Parker's final three-pointer of the game gave the Mountaineers their largest lead of the game and pushed them to the 90 point threshold, as they went on to win by 15 points.
Parker finished with a game-high 30 points, shooting 50% from the beyond the arc and going 8-9 from the charity stripe. He also added four assists and four steals to his stat line. Bizzle-Brown used 7-8 shooting from the field, including 3-4 from the three-point line to score 18 points while adding seven rebounds. Wise, who led the team with nine rebounds, finished with 15 points and Myrks-Brewer was the fourth player in double-figures with 13 points. The team made 12 three-pointers in the game.
No. 3 seed Berea (17-9) returns to the court tomorrow as they play the No. 2 seed Concordia College Alabama. It will be a late game for the Mountaineers, as tipoff is scheduled for 10:00 PM. Find all the information, including live stats and video, by clicking here.