Haviland, KS – This year the Bears have been determined to defend their home turf. Even though the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Saints beat the Bears twice last year in route to winning the NCCAA Southwest Region and the ACCA National Tournament, this year the Bears had a different outcome in mind.
In the first half, the Saints came out aggressively. They were more physical, out-rebounded the Bears and played like they had nothing to lose. The Saints built a commanding double digit lead before the Bears notched up the full-court pressure. A run in the final minute of the half allowed the Bears to be within three 46-49 heading into the locker room.
It was back and forth action for the first portion of the second half before the Bears interior play started to wear down the Saints. With under eight minutes left in the game, the Bears took the lead and shot 81% from the foul line to seal the game 92-81. The Bears were led by Senior Toney Hatton with 19 points and Sophomore Charles Brodhead with 18 points.
Legendary Assistant Coach Ray Anderson said, “It was a struggle. The effort was there but we were a step slow and not mentally sharp. The bottom line is if you can find a way to win when you’re not playing your best and we did.”
The Bears (7-0, 3-0) travel to Springfield, MO on Friday, Dec. 7th to face Central Bible College at 7:00 PM CST and then to Bartlesville, OK to face Oklahoma Wesleyan University on Saturday at 4:00 PM CST.