The Brescia Bearcats made the shortest trip of the KIAC season on Tuesday evening as they traveled to New Albany, Indiana to take on the Grenadiers of Indiana University Southeast. Brescia won the initial matchup between the two teams by a score of 85-81 back on January 6th, and came into the contest looking to complete the season sweep.
IUS scored the first points of the contest on a Parker Henes hook shot just 15 seconds into the game. The Bearcats quickly answered on a Trey Howard bucket less than 30 seconds later to tie the contest, then took the lead on another finish by Howard off of a Grenadier turnover on the next possession. The Brescia lead would steadily grow from there and the visitors took a 39-31 lead into the halftime break.
The second half started with an intense Brescia attack and the lead quickly ballooned to 12 points within a span of about 2 minutes. From that point on, the Bearcats kept the Grenadiers within arms reach, never extending their lead beyond 12 but never allowing IUS to get any closer than 5 points, which they only reached once at the 8:31 mark. A disciplined and steady approach by the Bearcats kept the Grenadier attack under control and when the final buzzer sounded, Brescia completed a 10-point win, 76-66. The victory for the visitors was only the 4th all-time win over IUS, but it was the second this season.
For the game, the Grenadiers were led by senior Jake Simpson with 27 points and 6 rebounds. Simpson was the only IUS player to reach double-figures, though Joe Jackson added 9 points and Kayman Garrett dropped in 8 points to support their cause. On the night, IUS shot 19-50 (38%) from the floor, 3-15 (20%) from behind the arc, and 25-35 (71%) from the foul line.
Brescia finished the contest shooting 27-55 (49%) from the field, 3-11 (27%) from three-point range, and 19-27 (70%) from the free throw line. Sophomore Trey Howard led the way for the Bearcats, scoring 22 points on 7-10 shooting and pulling down 3 rebounds. Junior Austin Morris had another huge double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Overall, eleven Bearcats found their way into the scoring column as the Brescia bench came up huge, contributing 20 points. Brescia dominated the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Grenadiers 43-30.
Coach Gibson on the win: "I am very pleased with the total team effort we showed tonight. We hit every one of the team goals that we set before the game and that translated into a quality road win. We know that we can play with anyone when we play to our potential as a group. I am also extremely happy with the contributions of our bench tonight. There were some guys whose number got called in some different situations and they responded very well. All 14 guys saw action in the first half tonight and all 14 were ready to answer the bell. We will try to maintain some positive momentum from this contest as we shift our focus to a talented and tough Alice Lloyd team. It will again require our very best effort to bring home a win on Saturday, so we will do everything possible to prepare for that game and be ready to perform at a high level."
The Bearcats return to action on Saturday at 3:00pm (eastern) as they travel to Pippa Passes, Kentucky to take on the Eagles of Alice Lloyd College in a KIAC matchup. Brescia defeated Alice Lloyd in their first meeting of the season 83-81 in a tightly contested game on January 10th.