Tough foes hold off Barons in Tip-Off Classic

By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON -- Brewton-Parker College men's basketball coach Steve Barker was still in search of an on-court leader entering the Barons' season-opening Tip-Off Classic last weekend at the Student Activities Center.

Senior guard Jarvis Smith of Atlanta did his best to claim that role Saturday night, hitting 10 of 13 shots from 3-point range in scoring a career-best 32 points.

Smith's efforts were still not enough to carry the Barons to victory over Martin Methodist College, an NAIA Division I national tournament qualifier last season.

As was also the case Friday night against the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Barons came up three points short.

Brewton-Parker had a brief lead with just over five minutes remaining and had two chances to tie Martin Methodist in the final four seconds before the RedHawks escaped with a 68-65 win.

"We outrebounded them and had a chance to win, and all you want is to have an opportunity to win the game," said Barker, whose team was within one of SCAD three times in the second half Friday night before the Bees claimed a 77-74 victory. "We had a chance to win both nights, that's all you want."

Smith accounted for all of the Barons' first 18 points of the second half, and junior post Bryan Jett of Hampton scored six of Brewton-Parker's next eight points to give the Barons a 58-56 lead with 5:23 remaining.

The RedHawks went ahead 20 seconds later but never led by more than four, after two free throws with 13.6 seconds left gave them a 66-62 edge.

Junior guard Tre Hill of Waycross scored a drew a foul with seven ticks remaining and hit the ensuing free throw to pull Brewton-Parker to within one. Hill was fouled while grabbing a rebound off RedHawk guard Chris Williams' second free-throw miss but was unable to connect with 3.8 seconds left.

Williams was fouled while getting that rebound and connected on both free throws with 3.0 seconds remaining. Hill's long try at a game-tying 3-pointer missed just to the left of the basket.

Smith finished the game hitting 11 of 16 overall shots. "Jarvis stepped up like we needed him to, not to score 32 but just to be a leader and have people look for him," Barker said.

Jett followed with a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, a category the Barons led 35-30. Hill and Frank Spivey, a sophomore transfer guard from Hinesville, each had four assists.

Jett was Brewton-Parker's offensive leader against SCAD in Friday's opener with 21 points in overcoming early foul trouble. Jett shared game-high honors with Bees freshman guard Gerard Bowden, and he also grabbed a game-leading eight rebounds.

Smith had two 3-pointers against SCAD and finished with 12 points, a figure matched by transfer junior guard Jelani Dukes of Cleveland, Ohio. Spivey followed with 11 points and Hill made five assists.

The Bees, who are in the NAIA this year after making the NCAA Division III national tournament three straight years, led 75-69 with 28 seconds remaining before the Barons took advantage of four missed free throws and closed to within one on Hill's 3-point play with 7.8 seconds left. SCAD scored with 2.3 ticks remaining to finish the scoring.

"They made plays in crucial situations and we didn't," Barker said. "With little things like boxing out on the lane or a couple of missed free throws late, we couldn't get over the hump."

The Barons looked to break into the winning column Tuesday night with a trip to Morris College in Sumter, S.C., their only action of this week. Brewton-Parker plays again Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Student Activities Center against Allen University (S.C.) at 8 p.m.



Brewton-Parker College senior guard Jarvis Smith (No. 3) of Atlanta fires a shot against Savannah College of Art and Design freshman guard Gerard Bowden during first-half action of the teams' season-opening game Friday in the Brewton-Parker Tip-Off Classic at the Student Activities Center in Mount Vernon. Smith followed a 12-point outing against SCAD with a 32-point effort Saturday against Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) that included 10 3-pointers. (Photo by Charles Conkin)