Knights drop a physical battle with Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo

By Andrew Hunter

Knightly News Sports Reporter

After coming off a close road contest on Wednesday night, the Central Penn College Knights took on the Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo Bobcats on Friday at East Pennsboro Middle School, dropping a physical battle 91-69.

In the first couple of minutes, both teams started slow, missing seven combined shots from the field and two free throws. The game’s first basket was from Bobcat’s anchor, center Kalon Kimble. The Knight’s first bucket came from Aiden Allen over three minutes into the game.

In the first half, the Knights’ Jordan Strickland was the driving factor in getting the Knights going offensively. He contributed several jump shots and a thunderous fast-break dunk to electrify the crowd. Strickland gave his team energy during the first half, with 8 points and 8 much-needed rebounds, as the Knights got outrebounded in the first half, 24-17.

For the Bobcats, their significant contributor was Kimble, giving the Bobcats 18 points and 5 rebounds in the first half alone.

The Knights would be down 10 with four minutes left in the first half and would keep the game in striking distance, being down 13 going into the break.

At halftime, Knights coach Gary Martin told his team in the locker room, “The desire and wanting to win, keep wanting to compete and not get on each other for little mistakes.” He later stated, “We have been in this situation. Let’s learn from it, and let’s get it done.”

When the second half started, the Knights and the Bobcats came out playing exceptionally physically, especially Knights guard Kaeden Campbell, who had a tough bucket and free throw to start the half for the Knights.

As the half went on, both teams kept going shot for shot, defensive stop for defensive stop, but the Bobcats kept their double-digit lead.

Coach Martin decided to switch up his point guard to freshman Loyal Riley, and he did not disappoint. Riley was doing everything that showed up in the stat book and more. He was very active on the defensive side by poking balls free and making the extra effort. On the offensive side, he had 8 points and was setting his teammates up for easy buckets.

Coach Martin said this about Riley, “I knew he was special the first time he came with us. I told him to be ready for this one (game), and he was ready. He was not only big on the offensive but also on defense. He was in the passing lanes and he was stripping people from behind. He was fantastic for us tonight.”

Even with Riley’s stellar play, the Knights kept hanging around the Bobcats but could not knock down their free throws, going 20-40 from the line. Bobcats guard Armonee Felder hit two huge 3-point baskets, which turned into a 3-point clinic for the Bobcats to put the Knights away, winning 91-69.

Coach Martin said after the game, “In this game, I felt we were right there. The free-throw line killed us. The officials did a great job getting us to the line, and we did not cash in. That is the biggest hurt we have right now, and it wasn’t one or two guys; it was collective. So many guys missed easy foul shots.”

The Knightly News Player of the Game was freshman Donnell Loud, who added 8 points and 8 rebounds off of the bench. Jordan Strickland added 14 points, 4 steals and 7 rebounds for the Knights.

For Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo, Kimble led the way for the Bobcats with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Schneider Casseus contributed 15 points in the victory.

The Knights fell to 1-8 on the young season with the loss. They are set to take on NCAA Division I opponent Appalachian State on Tuesday. They will return home on Dec. 12 to close out the first half of the season against ESAC rival Williamson Trade.