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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Bethune-Cookman edged out by Arkansas State in CBI tournament

Bethune Cookman’s season ended in a heartbreaker, falling 86-85 to Arkansas State in the opening round of the  College Basketball Insider Tournament.

Jakobi Heady’s layup gave the Wildcats their first lead of the afternoon at 6-5 at the 16:37 mark of the opening half. B-CU tied the game at 12 on a James Henderson Jr jumper, but Arkansas State went on an 11-2 spurt to take a 23-14 lead with 9:51 left in the half.

The Wolves would again push their lead to nine points at 38-29, following a Dyondre Dominguez layup. Over the remaining 3:33 of the first half, Bethune held Arkansas State to just 1 of 6 from the field with a turnover. The sole basket was a Julian Lula layup with a second to go that made the score 40-35 at halftime.

The Wildcats picked things up offensively, shooting 50% (20-40) from the floor and 44.4% from downtown in the half, but their efforts to seize control of the game were stunted by their inability to stop the Arkansas State offense. The Wolves shot a torrid 68.2% and converted 15 of their 23 free throw attempts in the half.

B-CU fell behind by as many as nine points, but the Wildcats showed fight, slicing the lead to a single point on three separate occasions before taking their first lead since 6-5 on a pair of Derrick Carter-Hollinger free throws that made the score 77-76 at the 4:02 mark.

The teams swapped the lead five times over a span of 3:02, with Carter-Hollinger Jr supplying all of the Wildcats’ points. Freddy Hicks’ layup put Arkansas State up 86-83 with six ticks left in the contest. Reggie Ward Jr’s layup as time expired was too little, too late, and the Wildcats ultimately came up short.

In a losing effort, Jakobi Heady led B-CU with 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting. Three other Wildcats reached double figures, including Derrick Carter-Hollinger Jr. with 15 points. Dhaston Dyson added 14 points, and Zion Harmon chipped in 11 points.

All five Arkansas State starters scored in double figures, led by Freddy Hicks’ 21 points and 9 rebounds. Caleb Fields put in 16 points, Derrian Ford and Izaiyah Nelson scored 12 each, and Taryn Tood added 10 points of his own.

Despite the loss, B-CU finishes the season at 17-17, which is the Wildcats’ first season with a .500 or better overall record since the 16-14 mark in 2020.

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