Eagles Thwart Off Bearcats for First KIAC Win
WILMORE, Ky. - A 23-2 run late in the first half by the visiting Bearcats had Asbury fans on the edge of their seats for the duration of Saturday afternoon's contest.
The Eagles (8-4, 1-1) built a big 27-12 lead through the first 12:28 of the game but saw that lead dissipate into a six point deficit by halftime on some great shooting from Brescia (6-6, 0-2) down the stretch.
Coach Will Shouse and company regrouped after halftime, showed the poise needed for any KIAC game and collected the gritty 63-60 win.
"Anytime you can get a win in conference it's a win we will take," the sixth year head coach said after the game. "They responded after the fast start we had, but we found a way to win. We'll take it."
The Eagles started the game red hot from the field, shooting 10-of-15 from the field but went ice cold over the last seven and change on just 1-of-10 during the Bearcats' run. Brescia turned up the heat with four straight deep balls-- three from Trey Howard-- to turn the tables.
Out of the break the Eagles regrouped and matched the visitors bucket-for-bucket through the early going of the second half. A couple big boards in the defensive end from senior Dakotah Euton provided some life for the hosts midway through the period with his team still trailing by one.
Euton converted the front end of two freebies to tie the game at the other end, but Brescia would stretch out their lead to four once again on buckets from Decarlos Collier and Ethan Staltsman.
Austin Flannery converted a three-point play with a nice spin move in the paint and the and-one to bring it to within one, and Euton followed suit after a Brescia bucket to knot the score up yet again.
After trading buckets, CJ Penny came up with a big offensive rebound and kicked it out to Cam Richardson who buried three of his 12 points for the Eagles' first lead since 3:44 left in the first half at 59-56.
Brescia's Howard hit a jumper from 20 feet to cut the Eagles lead to one but Penny came up big again, banking in two of his 17 to extend it back to three with 45 seconds remaining. A bucket from the visitors and then a foul sent Richardson to the line. Despite the Eagles' woes at the line--just 11 of 23 on the night-- he converted both.
The Bearcats got two opportunities to tie it up on two possessions inside ten seconds but Hunter Rowe's three attempt missed badly and Decarlos Collier's last ditch effort banged off the back of the iron.
In the end the Eagles found a way to capture the 63-60 win and improve to 1-1 in the conference. Brescia slipped to 0-2. Brescia found more success than the Eagles with the reserves off the bench, outscoring their hosts 26-14 but Asbury got it done in the paint with 40 points to the Bearcats' 26.
The Bearcats went ice cold in the second half from downtown, converting on just one of their 14 attempts.
The Eagles continue conference play to start the new year as they host Berea in the second of two games at the Luce on Tuesday January 7th. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.