For the first time in almost eight years, the Brescia Bearcats defeated the Grenadiers of Indiana Southeast 85-81 in their KIAC opener on Tuesday night. After a stellar start to the game that saw Brescia race to an early 12-point lead, the defending regular-season champions answered back behind 27 first-half points from senior guard Jake Simpson to take a 47-42 lead at the halftime break. Free throw attempts also told the early story, as Brescia only attempted one free throw in the first half, going 0-1 while IUS went 11-12. For the half, both teams shot the ball well, with Brescia connecting on 55% of their shots and IUS blistering the nets at 57%.
In the second half, the Bearcats answered the bell and began attacking on both ends of the court. Going strong to the rim resulted in 22 second-half free throw attempts and a renewed sense of purpose on the defensive end held Simpson to 6 points in the second stanza. Brescia shot 50% from the floor and 3-5 from downtown as they held IUS to 44% and 18%, respectively. For the game, Jake Simpson led all scorers with 33 points, while Parker Henes recorded a double-double for Southeast with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Once again, tremendous unselfishness and great balance led the way for Brescia. Six different Bearcats scored in double-figures as the team shot 53% from the floor and tallied 22 assists. Jermain Langley paced the scoring with 16 points (along with 9 assists), Kyle Nixon and Jordan Cooper-Livers each poured in 14 points, Trey Howard and DeCarlos Collier had 13 each, and Austin Morris tallied 11 points and 17 rebounds.
The Bearcats will return to action at the Campus Center on Saturday at 4:00pm as they take on the Eagles of Alice Lloyd College in another KIAC matchup.