BUFFALO, NY -- The Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo Bobcats improved to 7-4 and broke a two-game losing streak last night against Sheridan College, 86-71.
With both teams searching for a win, the stage was set for a hard-fought contest in the first round of the Villa Maria Holiday Classic. Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo had dropped two straight to NAIA schools, Green Mountain College and Mount Vernon Nazarene. Sheridan College was also coming off a tough loss to Niagara College that snapped a five-game winning streak.
In the first half, the Bobcats got off to a quick start and built an early 14-5 lead. Behind the sharp shooting of Nicc Johnson and Tyrell Mitchell, Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo scored early and often, both in transition and from deep. Johnson hit two from beyond the arc, stretching the defense, and Mitchell went to work, slashing to the rim to score.
Eventually, though, Sheridan College would weather the storm. Keenan Danso-Dapaah and Romar Subban kept the Bruins in the game, while Kahleek Bakari-Whyte impressed with some crafty ballhandling and a couple of three pointers to end the half.
At halftime, the Bobcats were up 49-39 to a Bruin’s team that refused to go away.
In the second half, Kahleek Bakari-Whyte picked up where he left off, penetrating the open gaps. After taking the ball to the hoop a couple of times and scoring, Bakari-Whyte stepped back and hit another three-point shot. He was having a good night and finished with 18 points in the second half and 26 points for the game.
Unfortunately, though, Bakari-Whyte was about all the Bruins had to combat a well-balanced team effort from the Bobcats. Nicc Johnson continued his hot shooting from beyond the arc and added 26 points of his own, but more impressive was Johnson’s presence inside, tallying a double-double on the night with 13 rebounds. Not to be outdone, Tyrell Mitchell also put up a double-double in another strong performance. Mitchell finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Late in the game, the Bruins attempted switching to several different defensive strategies to force turnovers, but in the end, it was a team effort from Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo that came out on top and extended the lead.
Tonight, the Bobcats will look to build off their win against Sheridan College as they take on Stratford University (9-2). Stratford is coming off a one point loss to Villa Maria, where Jashad Jamison and Ron Davis put up big numbers. Game time is 12pm at Villa Maria Athletic Center. This will be the Bobcat’s second and final game in the Villa Maria Holiday Classic.