The Brescia Bearcats hosted the Golden Bears of KIAC newcomer West Virginia Tech on Tuesday night in a game that both teams needed as they jockey for tournament seeding. The visitors came out of the gate hot, scoring on their first six possessions and opening up a 15-3 lead in the first 2:30 of the contest. After a Brescia timeout, the homestanding Bearcats righted the ship, outscoring the Golden Bears by 18 points over the final 17:30 of the first half to open up a 47-41 lead at the halftime break.
Brescia opened up a double-digit lead on the first three possessions of the second half and never looked back, keeping West Virginia Tech at bay for the remainder of the game and never allowing the visitors to get within two possessions the rest of the way. On the night, a suffocating Brescia defense held the Golden Bears to only 30-82 (36.6%) from the floor and 4-19 (21.1%) from three-point range, despite giving up an impressive 25 offensive rebounds to the visitors. The Bearcats were much more efficient offensively, shooting 26-55 (47.3%) and 6-17 (35.3%) from deep. WVT outrebounded Brescia 43-41, but the hosts dominated the night at the free throw line, nailing 30-34 free throws (88.2%) compared to only 12-23 (52.2%) for the visitors.
Ryan Atkins, the leading scorer in the KIAC, led the way for the Golden Bears with 23 points, but the Bearcats defense made him work by forcing him to attempt 21 shots to score those points. Paul Stone recorded a double-double for WVT, dropping in 22 points and pulling down 11 boards, 9 of which came on the offensive end.
Four Bearcats found their way into double figures led by Austin Morris, who recorded a double-double of his own with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Jermain Langley had 19 points for Brescia, along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Trey Howard scored 13 points and Kyle Nixon contributed 10 points of his own to the cause.
Brescia returns to action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to KIAC Colonial Division leader IU-East to play another crucial contest at 2:00pm (eastern). The Bearcats will wrap up the regular season on Saturday, February 20th with Senior Day festivities as they welcome Rio Grande to The Den at 3:00pm.