A 22-3 overall record proves that the Bruins Men’s Basketball Team is having their way with the competition.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, SLCC flexed their muscle once again and defeated Snow College in a hard nose battle to the finish.
Bruin players knew going into this game that they would have to compete at a top level and play through any type of adversities.
“Snow has always given us a tough rivalry game, and you know they are going to keep it close,” said combo guard Skyler Halford. “You have to stay mentally tough throughout the entire game no matter how far ahead or behind you might be.”
Competing at a top level and playing mentally tough is exactly what the Bruins did.
Defining moments came from SLCC player Gary Payton II, who had another exceptional game, scoring 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Five of Payton’s 18 points came from a three possession transition play, where he snatched a monster rebound, then launched a daggering 3-point shot, then came back down for a throw down dunk.
The senior Gary Payton, a former NBA point guard who was an all NBA defensive first team player and considered one of the best point guards of all time, was watching from the stands as his son and his team dominated.
“I just think of him as another person in the stands, but if I had a bad game, I was going to hear from him,” said Payton II.
Although Payton stepped up and produced, Snow College is a tough team that always brings their A-game, and the Bruins still found themselves down eleven points at the end of the first half.
Beginning the second half, SLCC came out with a tough mentality, but it wasn’t until the game’s final 12 minutes that the Bruins finally decided to put their opposition away.
It started with an impressive high arching 3-point shot from Halford.
A crowd erupting ankle breaker came next from Bruin JuWan Buccanan, who came down the court to put a move on the Badgers’Casey Taylor, who could not keep up and ended up on the ground watching Buccanan elevate to complete the play with a nothing-but-net jump shot.
After the series of good basketball from SLCC they finally managed to tie up the score at 62-62 with nine minutes left in the game.
“I feel like, as a team, we all step up and take charge at certain points of the game, and I think that’s why we are successful,” says Halford.
After tying the game they extended the lead and sealed the deal with an 86 to 81 win against Snow College.
The Bruins now face two more big home games and two more away games until they reach the conference tournament.
“We have a few difficult games ahead, but they are at home, and if we are able to win those, we should be fine,” says point guard Tyrell Corbin.