Jones, Morrison help Eagles hold on
WILMORE, Ky. – Asbury’s men build a 24 point lead early in the second half and almost saw it completely evaporate, holding on to defeat Brescia 90-79 in KIAC action. The Eagles allowed Brescia to shoot 52% in the second half as the Bearcats out-scored Asbury by seven after the break.
Asbury (13-6, 4-1 KIAC) came out early, pounding the ball inside to Justin Jones and Flip Crawford. After Crawford picked up two fouls in the first four minutes it was all up to Jones, and he was up to the challenge.
Jones (Hazard, Ky.) recorded his seventh career double-double, scoring a career-high 23 points and pulling down 14 rebounds for the Eagles. It was his fourth double-double this season and second straight after scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Berea on Tuesday night.
Phillip Morrison (Louisville, Ky.), fresh off a 35 point performance on Tuesday, led all scorers with 28 points. Morrison’s 11th 20-point game of the season and 33rd of his career increased his season average to 23 points per game. On Saturday Morrison connected on 10-of-17 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He made 5-of-6 free throws.
The Eagles built an 18-point halftime lead with Jones and Morrison combining for 27 of the teams’ 50 points. But it was the lack of defense from the Eagles and Derrick Thornberry who helped the Bearcats claw their way back. Brescia turned a 24-point deficit into a 76-69 game with 6:03 to play. Asbury would respond by going 6-for-6 from the line in the next three minutes, pushing the lead back to 17 and coasting to the finish.
Asbury scored 44 points in the paint compared to only 26 for Brescia. Asbury’s bench added 26 points, including 13 for Jamal Morris who was perfect from the floor (3-for-3) and near perfect from the line (6-for-8). Austin Flannery was also in double-figures with 11 points. Asbury owned the glass grabbing 43 rebounds to Brescia’s 30.
With Saturday’s victory head coach Will Shouse earned his 100th career victory, improving to 49-36 while at Asbury.
The Eagles will host Alice Lloyd on Thursday in a double-header. The men are scheduled to follow the women at 8:00 pm.