Boyce hangs with top-10 opponent in home opener

Communications Staff — November 6, 2006

Greg Gibson led the Boyce College men’s basketball team with 30 points and the Bulldogs out-rebounded Johnson Bible College 44-34 in their first-ever home game Nov. 4. But it wasn’t quite enough.

Johnson, which finished sixth in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Division II last season, led by more than 20 in the second half and defeated the Bulldogs 88-78.

Boyce (0-2) began play this season in the NCCAA Division II Mid-East region.

“What a great scene of seeing people here,” Boyce coach Bryce Hibbard said. “The crowd was great. Johnson was number one last year in this region, and we just played them to 10. And we’re going to get better. So I‘m really proud of the guys.”

Johnson jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first half before Boyce went on a 7-2 run to pull within two. After falling behind 38-23 at halftime, the Bulldogs never cut the lead to less than 10.

Gibson, who scored all of his points in the second half, attributed the Bulldogs’ first-half difficulties to nerves.

“With the first-game jitters at home we were kind of dead,” Gibson said. “We had the intensity in the first half, but when we came out in the second half we were a little more calm, and we were in a hole. We knew we had to get out of that hole, so we gave the intensity that much more.”

John Cabal scored 21 for Boyce, and Alex Lamberth added 15, including 11 in the first half.

Boyce shot 39 percent (32-of-82) for the game compared with 62 percent (36-of-58) for the Preachers. The Bulldogs went 4-of-24 (17 percent) from the three-point line.

Johnson’s Josh Halton led all scorers with 37, and four Preachers—Halton, Joel Cogdell, Luke Linville and Justin Hayse—reached double figures.

A series of Johnson turnovers in the final five minutes and three second-half three-pointers by Gibson allowed Boyce to cut the Preachers’ lead to its smallest margin since halftime. The Bulldogs committed just nine turnovers in the final 20 minutes compared with 17 for Johnson.

Boyce shot 49 percent in the second half after a cool 26 percent in the first half. With nine minutes remaining in the first, Halton had out-scored the entire Boyce team 15-14.

“Unfortunately we’ve gone through spots where we don’t play as hard,” said Hibbard, who has 20 years of high school coaching experience including a Kentucky state championship in 1997 and a state coach-of-the-year award in 2001. “Then we show how hard we can play. So if we can sustain that at the end of the year, we’ll be in good shape.”

The Bulldogs were nearly perfect from the foul line, shooting 10-of-13 (77 percent).

Derek Jones and Jeff Pearson had four points each for Boyce while Jason Davis scored 1.

The Bulldogs will play three more home games before going on the road to a tournament at Milligan College Nov. 17.

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