The Brescia Bearcats welcomed the Red Storm of Rio Grande into The Den on Saturday for their final contest of the 2015-16 regular season. Despite the fact that tournament seeds had been determined for both teams, the game had a special level of intensity as it was Senior Day for the homestanding Bearcats. Brescia honored one of the winningest and most decorated senior classes in the history of the program, recognizing CJ Cummings, Jermain Langley, Austin Morris, and Kyle Nixon before the game began.
Once the ball was tipped, the two talented teams began trading baskets in a game that neither team was able to control. The Bearcats took an early lead behind the heriocs of Jermain Langley, who scored 18 points in the opening stanza. However, Rio Grande was able to answer and claw their way right back into the contest behind senior wing D.D. Joiner, who poured in 18 first-half points of his own. The game was knotted at 39-39 on the final possession when Langley ripped down an offensive rebound and put it up and in just before the buzzer to give Brescia a 41-39 advantage at the break.
In the second half, neither team was able to gain more than a four-point lead. Both teams responded on several occasions when they could have folded and there were multiple lead changes that led to Brescia's final possession with less than 40 seconds remaining and the game tied at 71-71. With the ball in the hands of Langley, the senior point guard, the defense collapsed and he found the Bearcats second-leading scorer, Trey Howard open at the top of the key. The junior wing would prove to be the hero of Senior Day, as he buried the game-winning three-pointer with 8 seconds remaining on the clock. After a timeout, D.D. Joiner would attempt a game-tying three, but it was blocked by Jermain Langley to seal the win.
For the game, Rio Grande shot 32-69 (46.4%) and 4-13 (30.8%) from deep. D.D. Joiner led the Red Storm with 22 points, followed by Dwayne Bazemore with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Matt Rhodes, who also scored 14. Brescia shot 27-61 (44.3%) and 8-23 (34.8%) from three-point range for the contest.
Junior Trey Howard finished with 14 points and had a great game for the Bearcats, as his first basket of the night put him over the 1,000 point mark for his career and his last proved to be the game-winner. The other superlative performances for Brescia came from three of the seniors. Making his first career start for the Bearcats, CJ Cummings came up huge, posting 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 4 assists, which were all career-highs for the senior. Jermain Langley led the way for Brescia, as the senior tied a career-high with 28 points while pulling down 8 boards and dishing out 5 assists. Austin Morris was the final double-figure scorer for the Bearcats, as he battled through foul trouble to notch 10 points while pulling down 8 rebounds.
With the win, Brescia finishes the regular season with a 15-12 record and a 9-7 record in the KIAC, the third consecutive season the Bearcats have posted a winning record overall and won at least 9 games in conference play. They enter the KIAC tournament as the number 3 seed from the Capital division and will travel to Pittsburgh, PA to face the number 2 seed from the Colonial division in Point Park University. The Bearcats defeated the Pioneers 70-58 in Pittsburgh back on November 21st in their only meeting this season. Tip-off for the KIAC Tournament First Round game will be at 6:00p (Central) on Wednesday, February 24th.