April 18, 2019

Bobcats Basketball Teams Tighten Grip on National Polls

By B&SC Athletics Team

Bobcats Basketball Teams Tighten Grip on National Polls

The Bryant & Stratton College men’s basketball team climbed in the polls once again this week, moving up three spots to ninth in the latest NJCAA DII Rankings.

The Bobcats bounced back from their first loss of the season with a pair of victories over Patrick Henry and Pitt Community College. The pair of victories moved BSC to 10-1 on the season while boasting some of the most impressive team numbers in the nation. Entering this week’s action, BSC ranked first in offensive rebounds per game, ninth in total rebounds per game – good for the third best rebound margin in the nation – while boasting the seventh best shooting percentage against in the NJCAA.

The Bobcats are also just outside the top-10 nationally in points against per game; their current mark of 40.5 is 11th best in the NJCAA. After having their eight-game winning streak snapped by Southside Community College, BSC stepped up their defensive game, taking care of PHCC 71-53. PHCC was unable to crack 30 points in either half as the Bobcats stifled their attack while Romello Anderson, Greg Heckstall and Jaleel Ferguson led the way offensively.

Ferguson finished with a double-double as he grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with his 12 points. The second leg of homecoming weekend saw the Bobcats hold off a late charge from Pitt to win 70-63, handing Pitt their first loss of the season. As has been the case for the entire year, Heckstall powered the offensive effort for the Bobcats, scoring a game-high 22 points thanks to his team leading 60% three-point shooting average. Jaleel Ferguson and Romello Anderson were the only other Bobcats to break double digits despite eight players seeing 15 minutes or more on the court and another playing 14 minutes.

The true victory came on the defensive side of the ball as the Bobcats held the high-flying Pitt squad to their lowest output of the year. Pitt’s 63 points was twenty three points lower than their previous season low, a massive margin considering they’ve eclipsed 120 points on three separate occasions. Pitt still holds the third-highest point-per-game average in the nation despite the modest output that was punctuated by a 25-point first half.

They did push back in the second, putting up 41 points and outscoring the Bobcats by six. The late run fell short, however, as BSC came away with the seven-point victory.

The Bryant & Stratton College women claimed the 12th spot in the NJCAA DII Poll, holding steady from last week’s release. The Bobcats held their spot thanks to a nail-biting 91-84 overtime victory over Louisburg on homecoming weekend.

Even with the two teams combining for a total of five three point field goals, both managed to pump in baskets with Gabrielle Swinson and Breona Cowan leading the way for the Bobcats. Swinson posted 23 points while Cowan pulled down 10 rebounds while posting 18 points. BSC didn’t truly pull away until overtime as both squads traded leads as the Bobcats took a seven-point advantage into halfime but Lousiburg managed to bridge that gap with a strong second half.

But BSC’ doubled Louisburg in OT, outscoring them 14-7 to seal the victory. The Bobcats will trade their light schedule from last week for a tightly packed lead-up to the holiday break as they play three games in five days, starting tomorrow against Lenoir.