WAUWATOSA, WI (January 8, 2019) - Coming off of back-to-back wins, the Bryant & Stratton College men's basketball team traveled to South Holland, IL on Tuesday night where they suffered an 85-71 loss to the NJCAA DII #1 ranked South Suburban Bulldogs.
The loss drops the Bobcats down to 13-6 overall and 12-2 in region play.
At the jump, South Suburban came out clicking on all cylinders as they led by 13 with 14 minutes left in the first half.
Searching for a much needed offensive spark, sophomore guard, Kyle McDermed, ended the scoring drought for the Bobcats after knocking down a floater in the lane which cut the deficit to 11 points (17-6).
Over an 11 minute period of trading baskets, Bryant & Stratton captured their first lead of the game after McDermed was assisted by floor general, Justin Brookens, on a back-door layup to take a 29-28 lead with two minutes remaining in the half.
"We competed hard," Bobcats head coach, Matt Majkrzak, said.
Looking to gain back the lead, the Bulldogs kept their composure surging out on an 11-5 run to close out the half with a 39-34 advantage.
"I was dissapointed in our ball movement and attention to detail," Majkrzak said.
At the midway point of the second half, the Bobcats saw themselves trailing by 16 until freshman guard, Joe Duty, sparked momentum knocking down a jumper from 14 feet which cut the deficit to 14 (70-56) at the eight minute mark.
"Competing on the road comes with all forms of adversity," Majkrzak said. "Our energy and effort was there."
With four minutes remaining in the contest, the Bobcats would not surrender as they closed the gap down to just eight points (75-67) after forward, Chris Thompson, knocked down two of two from the charity stripe.
Despite the late push from the Bobcats, the Bulldogs refused to let their guard down as they put together a 10-4 run to close out the game and remain undefeated on the season.
A physical game, Bryant & Stratton tallied 22 team fouls to South Suburbans 21 fouls.
"One of the biggest challenges is being tough enough to guard without fouling," Majkrzak said. "We have to keep improving if we want to knock off elite teams on the road.
Leading the way for the Bobcats was Brookens dropping 26 points (eight points over his season average) while going 13-17 from the free throw line.
McDermed followed with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Thompson added nine points and freshman guard, Manny Jingco, produced eight points.
The Bobcats shot 46.4% from the field to the Bulldogs 42.6%.
"Every loss has been a great learning experience for our group," Majkrzak said. "We played toe-to-toe with the number one team in the country at their place. We need to build from this game and continue to grow."
Bryant & Stratton shot a season low 9.09% from beyond the arc and were outrebounded by the Bulldogs 38-34.
Bryant & Stratton will have over a week off of competition but will not have an easy match when they return to action as they travel to Cedar Rapids, IA to take on NJCAA Division II #5 ranked Kirkwood Community College on Wednesday, January 16.
Tip-off will take place at 7:00pm.
Spectators can view the game live on the OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL.