Rams rally to get huge victory over U of Charleston 86-82
Rams move a game above .500 (9-8) going into Christmas break
Sports Information Department BC
December 19, 2011
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
Bluefield, Virginia- A strong second-half performance by Bluefield College was the difference maker on Monday night as the Rams rallied over the University of Charleston for a 86-82 victory in The Dome.
Early foul trouble had the Rams scraping around for extra options from the bench in the first eight minutes of the contest, as leading scorer Byron Carpenter picked up two early fouls causing a quick exit from the court.
The Golden Eagles took advantage early with several consecutive successful possessions going up by ten points, 30-20 with nine minutes to play in the first half.
Just as Charleston was looking to extend its double-digit lead, Bluefield responded with ten straight points to tie the game up 30-30. Action picked up late in the first half as both teams went to the free-throw line more than 15 times in the first half. 32 fouls were issued in the first half, 61 in the total contest.
With Carpenter struggling to find minutes, the lightning-quick backcourt duo of Marion and Wilson picked up the slack. Charleston not only had trouble stopping the roadrunners, but the attention gave way for Borgia M'bala to get several open looks as well. 3-6 from behind the arc, M'bala finished with 18 points on the night.
M'bala also added a few key free-throws on the heels of a heated moment from a 'no-call' by the officials when Charleston was looking for an offensive foul call, but no foul was awarded. After two technical fouls (both on UC), the momentum switched almost instantaneously.
The Rams went into the break with a 47-44 lead, but the momentum wouldn't last long. The Golden Eagles, just like the first half, came out with a flourishing offensive front. Charleston rode the back of PJ Reyes for not only the beginning of the second half, but the entire game. Six of Reyes' 33 points came in the opening minutes of the final frame when the Eagles went on a 14-6 run to begin the half and lead Bluefield by five.
Charleston continued to get baskets through the second half, as BC fell off its scoring mark for several minutes in the second half. Unusual for the high-scoring Rams in recent games, who rank #1 in the NAIA in total points, they had to use more than their offensive threats to inch away Charleston's lead. O'Boute and Johnson were two 'support' players who brought some great intensity including Johnson's ability to create two offensive fouls, both of which would lead to BC baskets.
Down ten points again, Bluefield began to chip away at the UC 70-60 lead. The margin decreased after a great heads up play made by Andrew Wilson whose stutter-hesitation move created a three-shot shooting foul opportunity. Wilson made all three free-throws. Three more buckets had the Bluefield Rams back in the game, and UC's dribble-drive offense became ineffective.
Bluefield would hit several key free-throws down the stretch even though they still only shot 65-percent from the stripes (26-40). Bluefield was led in scoring by Andrew Wilson with 26 points who shot better than 50-percent from the floor and 12-15 from the line. Charleston had the game's high scorer, PJ Reyes. Reyes finished with 33 points on the losing effort.
The win for Bluefield was huge moving forward into a full conference schedule immediately following the Christmas holiday. The Rams (9-8, 2-0) will begin the new year at Milligan (Tenn.) College on Jan. 3 before hosting TN Wesleyan on Jan. 5th in Bluefield.