Men’s Basketball: Lewis knocks off Kentucky Wesleyan
By Dick Goss email@example.com January 24, 2013 10:56PM
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:31AM
The Lewis men’s basketball roster has exactly one senior, guard David Bryant.
Only a couple of juniors, too.
“I love my young team,” coach Scott Trost said.
And why not? Kentucky Wesleyan made its final visit to Neil Carey Arena on Thursday night, and Lewis made it one to remember.
The Flyers took control early in the second half, and despite Wesleyan’s repeated efforts to catch up, it was to no avail.
Bryant, playing the senior leadership role to the hilt, scored 16 of his game-high 19 points in the second half as Lewis prevailed 75-71 before a near-capacity crowd.
Wesleyan (14-2, 6-2) is leaving the Great Lakes Valley Conference after this season to join a new league. The Panthers are ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II but also lost to Southern Indiana earlier in the week.
Lewis (11-5, 5-3) has been in virtually every game but against some top opponents could not quite get over the hump. This time was different.
“We took care of the ball until the end (Thursday),” said Trost, whose teams are 8-4 against Wesleyan, including four victories when the Panthers were nationally ranked. “This is a good win.”
“It was big,” said Bryant, who hit 4-of-6 three-pointers as the Flyers shot 53.2 percent from the floor, .500 (6-of-12) on threes and .826 (19-of-23) from the free-throw line. “We came off a good 2-1 road week and had confidence coming in to play here.”
Rebounding also was key. Lewis stayed within 30-27 on the boards against one of the GLVC’s better rebounding teams.
“Rebounding was a big emphasis,” Bryant said. “It was probably the biggest thing.”
That, and Bryant’s feathery touch. After forward Julian Lewis hit 6-of-6 shots for 14 points in the first half, Bryant caught fire. Kyle Nelson chipped in with 13 points inside and leading scorer Ryan Jackson, who commanded defensive attention, managed nine.
“It’s not going to get any easier,” Bryant said, noting that No. 10 Southern Indiana will be at Lewis at 3 p.m. Saturday.