Basketball Hawks breeze past Bryan, 80-53, in Bryan Classic
By Matt Green
DAYTON, Tenn. -- Walter Hill scored 18 points, Anthony Banks and Dante Harvey added 10 points apiece and No. 5-ranked Shorter cruised to an 80-53 victory over Bryan College in each team's final game of the 2011 Bryan College Classic.
The Hawks (11-0), 86-77 winners over Tennessee Wesleyan on Friday night, won their record 11th straight game to open the year improving upon last season's 10-0 start. Shorter's No. 5 national ranking in the latest NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll is the highest ever for the program.
C.J. Davis scored nine points -- all in the second half -- for the Hawks, who used an 8-0 spurt midway through the first half to seize control and led by 17 at the half. The Hawks opened the second half with 3-pointers from Hill and Darius Steger to take a 53-30 lead and never looked back, leading by as much as 32 in the final stanza.
Shorter shot 46 percent, but took exceptional care of the basketball and attacked the offensive boards with fury. The Hawks, who turned ball over more than 20 times in last night's win over Tennessee Wesleyan, committed just eight giveaways against the Lions (4-10). Shorter also collected 14 offensive rebounds that led to 14 second chance points. The Hawks held a decisive 45-30 edge on the glass.
Bryan, which snapped a four-game losing streak with its win over Southern States Athletic Conference member Truett-McConnell on Friday night, simply couldn't keep up with a more athletic Shorter squad on Saturday.
Shorter led the entire first half and separated itself with an 8-0 run powered by four points from Hill that gave the Hawks a 33-20 lead with 6:50 to go until halftime. Hill scored 13 points with the help of two 3-pointers in the first half and finished the game 5-for-6 from the foul line as Shorter shot 80 percent (8-for-10) from the foul line for the second straight game.
Bryan struggled to score in the second half and was outscored 33-23 in the frame. Bryan's leading scorer Rob Riley, who entered the game averaging just over 17 points a night, was held to 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Logan Sharp came off the bench to score 11 for the Lions, who were held to 37 percent shooting and limited to six offensive rebounds.
Shorter returns to action on Thursday, Dec. 15 with a road date against Coastal Georgia. Tip off is set for 7:30 pm.