Erie, PA – The Johnson C. Smith University men’s basketball team lost 92-83 to Alderson-Broaddus Saturday night in the opening round of the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament.
The team finished the season 23-8.
The Golden Bulls played most of the first half without their leading scorer. Six minutes into the contest, All-CIAA senior guard Ryan Scott picked up his second foul and was forced to sit, allowing Alderson-Broaddus to build a 13-point lead by the 8-minute mark. Guard Terrell Eargle carried the Battlers early, scoring 14 first-half points and grabbing six boards.
Senior guard Tavaris Little did not allow JCSU to fall too far behind. Little had a team-high 10 points at the half, shooting 75 percent from the floor (3-4) and 100 percent from the three-point and free-throw line (2-2 both). J.C. Smith closed the half with a layup to go into the locker room down 37-32.
JCSU opened the second half with a 10-0 scoring run. A layup by Scott gave the Golden Bulls a 51-41 lead with 15:47 left to play. But Alderson-Broaddus battled back, retaking the lead (64-62) off a three-pointer by Eargle. The Battlers stretched their lead to 11 points (85-74) with 1:28 remaining.
Five Golden Bulls finished with double-digit point totals. Little had a team-high 20 points, shooting 75 percent (6-8). Scott contributed with 15 points (all scored in the second half), six assists, and three steals. Thornhill and juniors James Dillard and Jerry Hollis all scored 14.
JCSU will lose two seniors (Tavaris Little and Ryan Scott) when they defend their CIAA title next season. The Golden Bulls won their second consecutive conference championship this season and made their third regional tournament appearance in the last four seasons.