Orlando, FL -- The Beloit College Men's Basketball team built a lead and then held on at the end for a 57-56 win over Messiah College PA in their opening game at the RDV Sportsplex Classic Monday night.
The Bucs scored the first eight points of the game but the Falcons responded with a 13-4 run to take a one-point lead midway through the first half. Messiah pushed their lead as high as nine points at 23-14 seven minutes before halftime but Beloit closed the half on a 10-1 run to tie the score at 24-all at the break.
A 12-5 Buccaneer run out of the lockerroom gave them a 36-29 lead just under eight minutes into the second half. They still held that advantage with 50 seconds left but MC hit a three-pointer to pull within four with 42 seconds remaining. The Bucs' Rudy Bentley and Andrew Bremner both hit two free throws down the stretch to hold off the Falcons, who hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for the final score.
Neither team could find their shooting touch throughout the game, with Beloit finishing at 35.1% (20-57) and Messiah at 34.4% (21-61). The Bucs hit 13 free throws to counter the Falcons' seven while MC hit seven three's to BC's four.
Bremner had 15 points to lead the scoring for the Buccaneers. Steve McAfee had 13 points and 17 rebounds to move into sixth on the Beloit Men's all-time scoring list. Bentley and Mike Gulve added nine points apiece, Bentley also with four assists.
The Buccaneers are off on Tuesday before playing Hope College on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT.