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BPC Basketball Gets Going

BPC Basketball Gets Going
BPC Head Coach Leonard Epps (L) along with Assistants Jovan Coleman (R) and Deon Williams (not pictured) secured their first win as a coaching staff in the season opener against Paine University.
BPC Basketball Gets Going
BPC Head Coach Leonard Epps (L) along with Assistants Jovan Coleman (R) and Deon Williams (not pictured) secured their first win as a coaching staff in the season opener against Paine University.

Courtesy of BPC

The Brewton-Parker College basketball programs were in action last week. The women were in Montgomery, AL, at the Cramton Bowl for the SSAC/Sun Conference Challenge. The ladies won their opener to Ave Maria of Florida and then fell to St Thomas of Florida for the Lady Barons first loss of the season.

Women vs. Ave Maria

Lady Barons Basketball returned to play on Friday afternoon with a nonconference matchup against Ave Maria (Fla.) in the SSAC/ Sun Conference Challenge at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.

The Lady Barons (3-0) remain unbeaten this season, sneaking past a challenging Gyrenes (2-1) squad in a gritty 65-60 win in neutral territory. “We won a tough game today,” Head Coach Steve Edwards stated. “We were outplayed for most of the game, and we made a ton of immature mistakes. We must give credit to Ave Maria and the good game plan they executed. “We found a way to win, and we showed some grit doing so,” Edwards added. “Today we did not play good basketball, but it is always good to have these types of games early in the season. Neutral site matchups against quality opponents are always tough.

“We battled through some adversity today after Madison went down,” Edwards mentioned. “We had several players step up and we will need our players to step up big time tomorrow.”

Nearly three minutes passed in the first quarter before Ave Maria opened the game on a 6-0 run. Brewton-Parker managed to level the score 7-7 with 4:42 left in the period as Drexelle Ward and Angel McRae knocked down back-to-back jumpers. After some late trades of scoring possessions, BPC leveled the game yet again with a bucket from Madison Evans with just over a minute left.

The Gyrenes closed out the period with three unanswered points to lead 14-11.

Brewton-Parker opened the quarter with a 5-0 run coming from a bucket out of the hands of Keyanna Tolbert and a trey from Samerria Bryant to reclaim the lead, 16-14.

Ave Maria responded with a pair of scores themselves to jump back out to a two-point lead with 7:00 on the clock. Most of the quarter was tight, as both teams traded scoring possessions highlighted by a three-pointer from Keonya Mincey to give BPC a 25-22 lead with 3:05 remaining. After battling late in the quarter, Cisley Copper sealed the half with two free throws to give BPC a 31-27 lead at the break. Two-straight scores from Tolbert and McRae boosted the Lady Barons’ lead to six points early in the opening moments of the quarter. AMU managed to knock the deficit down to just a two-possession game with 5:15 left, but BPC answered with a three-point play from Tolbert, who converted the free throw with 3:44 on the clock. The Gyrenes pulled the advantage down to three points with a four-point surge. However, the Lady Barons closed out the period with five points and a 48-42 lead. Brewton-Parker jumped out to an 11-point advantage early in the fourth quarter with a five-point shift. Copper hit a huge three-pointer with 5:30 left to give BPC a 56-44 lead.

Ave Maria didn’t back down, surging on an 11-0 run to pull the game down to just one possession with 1:35 left. The Lady Barons managed to hold off the Gyrenes, forcing AMU to fouls which sealed the 65-60 win. Brewton-Parker shot for 35.1% (20-of-57) from the floor, 31.8% (7-of-22) from three, and 60% (18-of-30) from the foul line. A trio of Lady Barons scored double- digit points with McRae leading the way with a double- double performance, scoring 13 points and snagging 18 rebounds. Copper scored 13 as well followed by Sy-Marieonna Williams with 11 points. Ave Maria edged out Brewton-Parker 43-41 in rebounds. The Lady Barons won the turnover battle as the Gyrenes gave up the ball 28 times compared to BPC’s 21 turnovers. BPC recorded 16 second-chance points and 20 points off turnovers.

Women vs. St. Thomas

Lady Barons Basketball continued play at the SSAC/ Sun Challenge in Montgomery, AL, on Saturday with a matchup against St. Thomas (Fla.) at the Cramton Bowl. The Lady Barons (3-1) fell to the Bobcats (3–0) in a tight, 75-73 loss for the first defeat of the 202223 campaign.

“We didn’t play well to win today,” Head Coach Steve Edwards said after the game. “We showed some fight late, but we need consistency from our older players. There are some key pieces missing, but we will not use that as an excuse,” Edwards added. “We have to find a way for the next player to step up and get the job done.

“We will get some much-needed rest and get a few people healthy,” Edwards mentioned. “We are back to work on Monday.”

A bucket from Tajahnae Wiggins opened the game up, giving BPC the early lead.

St. Thomas jumped out to utilize a 17-5 run over the course of four minutes to lead by 10 points. After a three-pointer from Cisley Copper with 3:29 to play, the Lady Barons eventually strung together a pair of scores from Wiggins and Angel McRae. BPC was able to pull the deficit down to just five points with 1:22 remaining on the clock, before closing out the period behind, 23-16.

Drexelle Ward opened the quarter by knocking down a big bucket from beyond the arc to pull the Lady Barons within four points. After a successful trip down the floor from STU, A’Alyiah Clay hit a trey with 8:00 to play to put BPC just one possession behind.

The Bobcats advanced out to an 8-point lead with 6:55 left to play in the half, taking advantage of a BPC turnover. A few moments later, Keyanna Tolbert gathered back-to-back buckets to put the Lady Barons just four points behind St. Thomas, 30-26 with 5:28 remaining. After some back and forth between the two sides, BPC closed out the half with a score from Clay to knock STU’s advantage to just three points. BPC outscored STU 18-14 in the quarter and closed out the half behind, 37-34.

St. Thomas managed to jump out to a 10-point lead about halfway through the third quarter, leading 50-40. Both teams traded trips down the floor, but the Bobcats remained in control for most of the period. Brewton- Parker surged late in the quarter with an 11-2 run that was capped off by Sy-Marieona Williams knocking in a shot at the buzzer to level the score, 56-56.

BPC reclaimed the lead early in the fourth quarter as Tolbert and McRae boosted the advantage to four points with just over eight minutes to play. St. Thomas answered with a three-pointer to pull within one, but Williams shut that door with a huge trey of her own to give BPC the four-point lead. With 5:07 to play, the Lady Barons relinquished the lead as the Bobcats went on a 7-0 run to secure the lead by three points.

The Bobcats began to slip away from the Lady Barons down the stretch, leading 73-66 with just under two minutes left. BPC finished the game out with a 7-2 run but fell shy of a comeback, dropping the first loss of the season, 7573.

A total of four players scored in double figures with Tolbert leading the way with 12. Keonya Mincey and Wiggins both scored 11 each while McRae recorded her second-straight doubledouble, scoring 11 points and snagging 14 boards. As a team, BPC shot for 38.2% (26-of-68) from the field, 35% (7-of-20) from three, and 66.7% (14-of-21) from the charity stripe.

Brewton-Parker held a 40-37 advantage in rebounds while narrowly winning the turnover battle 1416. BPC’s bench produced 26 points with the Lady Barons scoring 21 points from turnovers.

Brewton-Parker will come home to Mount Vernon to take on Voorhees (S.C.) on Thursday night for the home opener in Gillis Gymnasium.

Men vs. Paine

A new era of Brewton-Parker men’s basketball began on Thursday night as the Barons tipped off the 2022-23 season on familiar ground, hosting Paine (Ga.) in Gillis Gymnasium. Brewton-Parker (1-0) opened the new campaign with a solid performance against the Lions (1-1) in a 75-64 victory. The win secured Head Coach Leonard Epps along with Assistants Jovan Coleman and Deon Williams the staff’s first win at the helm of the program on opening night.

Lance Smith scored the first bucket of the season, dropping two points early. Both teams opened the game by trading shots back and forth, sharing leads. Jordan Johnson connected on a big three-point with the help of Kenny Colwell to boost the Barons to a fivepoint lead just three minutes in.

Brewton-Parker followed with a 7-0 run capped by a trey from Colwell to lead 17-8 with 14:56 left to play. Paine knocked the deficit down to five points before Aaron Udell answered with back-to-back threepointers, giving the Barons an 11-point advantage with 11:12 on the clock.

Just a few moments later, Udell downed another three-pointer to give BPC a 27-14 lead with nine minutes left in the half.

Buckets from Jeffery Huff and Johnson beefed up the advantage for Brewton-Parker with a free throw coming from Demarcus Johnson Jr to cap off the largest lead in the half. The Lions began chipping away at the deficit, eventually pulling the Barons’ lead down to five points with 2:38 left to play. Brewton-Parker closed out the half on a 9-1 run to lead 43-30 at the break. Johnson and Udell led the scoring in the first half with nine points each with Udell going 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Paine opened the half by knocking the Barons’ deficit down to 11 points with 18:19 on the clock. Brewton-Parker answered with five swift points from Colwell on back-to-back trips down the floor, leading 50-34 just two and a half minutes into the half. BPC built to a 19-point lead with 15:29 left which was the largest lead of the night.

However, Paine surged to an 8-0 run to land at an 11-point deficit. The Barons pieced together a run of their own, scoring five unanswered points over the course of the next few minutes. Paine began a resurgence yet again but with a 9-0 run to pull within single digits as BPC led by just eight points with eight minutes left in the game.

Smith capped off a 9-0 run with a pair of scores from the charity stripe, boosting the lead back to 17 points with 4:22 left to play. The Lions did not back down in the final stretch, trying to pull the game within reach. Brewton-Parker held tough for the final minutes of the game to secure a 75-64 victory. Smith led with a doubledigit performance in the second half to help keep the game out of reach for Paine.

As a team, Brewton-Parker shot for 39.1% (27of-69) from the field, 38.5% (10-of-26) from three, and 61.1% (11-of-18) from the foul line. Smith led the charge for BPC with 19 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, and three steals. Colwell and Udell both produced 11 points with Colwell notching a 3-for-6 performance from beyond the arc followed by Udell’s 3-for-4 showing from deep.

Ferlin Joseph also notched eight boards to tie Smith for the lead.

BPC utilized 16 points off turnovers with Paine producing 13. The Lions held a 22-14 advantage in second-chance points while the Brewton-Parker bench held a 21-3 advantage in points.

Brewton-Parker was at Voorhees (S.C.) on Tuesday night after presstime.

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