Playing their third conference game in less than five days and second in less than twenty hours, the Brescia Bearcats showed some signs of fatigue on Saturday during the second half against a scrappy team from Carlow University. After jumping out to a 14-point lead at the halftime break following a first half that saw Brescia shoot 60% from the floor while holding the visiting Celtics to only 21 points, the Bearcats went ice cold for a period of time in the second stanza and allowed a young Carlow squad that refused to quit to stay in the game all the way until the closing minutes before a clutch three-pointer from Trey Howard and some solid work at the free throw line iced the win for the home squad by a final score of 69-61.
Charlie Scharbo led the Celtics with 15 points and 8 rebounds, and was joined in double-figures by Zack Taylor with 14 points. For the game, Carlow shot 24-61 (39.3%) from the floor, 6-19 (31.6%) from 3-point range, and 7-14 (50%) from the charity stripe. The Bearcats shot 24-48 (50%) overall, 6-18 (33.3%) from behind the arc, and 15-20 (75%) from the free throw line. Trey Howard led the Bearcats with a game-high 27 points on 11-15 shooting and was joined in double-figures by Austin Morris, who posted yet another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Coach Gibson on the win: "It may not have been a pretty game, but we got some big stops when we needed them and worked hard enough defensively to get a big KIAC victory. There have been a few games this year where we played well enough on the offensive end of the court to simply outscore teams, but I have told this group all along that there will be days during the conference grind when the shots don't fall and we will have to rely on our defense to win and today was a prime example of that."
"Carlow is a talented, young team and they are very well-coached. They did a great job of throwing a lot of different looks at us to keep us out of sync on the offensive end. At the end of the day, we made just enough plays to hold them off. Overall, I could not be more pleased with the way our team responded this week. After giving up 81,81, and 82 points in our first three KIAC games, we only allowed 60, 60, and 61 in three games played in a five-day span. If we can maintain this level of defensive intensity, this can be a special team."
With the win, the Bearcats climb into a tie atop the KIAC South Division standings at 5-1, currently sharing first place with the Eagles of Asbury University. Brescia will conclude a three-game homestand on Tuesday night, January 27th at 7:00pm as they host KIAC newcomer Rio Grande (OH) in the Den.