(CLEVELAND) – The Truett McConnell University men’s basketball team hosted Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Tennessee Wesleyan inside the Benjamin F. Brady Arena, where the Bears fell by a short margin (58-65). TMU falls to a record of 8-11, 6-9 AAC, while the Bulldogs rise to 13-4, 12-4.

The Bears got on the board early with a layup from Brent Kelly and CJ Brown. The Bulldogs quickly responded with shots of their own to steal the lead. A jump shot from Cory Seitz and EJ Smith recaptured the Bears’ lead, where both teams were evenly matched. A shot in the paint from RJ Bryant paired with a jump shot from Micah McAllister cut the deficit to two, when a clutch three-point shot from Akil Covington propelled the Bears forward. Layups from CJ Brown and Raul Arias-Ortega worked to add to TMU’s lead going into the half (27-25).

In the second half, both teams continued to battle with a layup from Brown, but shots from the Bulldogs sent them ahead. A free throw from Brown paired with a fastbreak layup from Smith recaptured TMU’s lead. The Bulldogs responded with multiple shots to create a large deficit, where three-point shots from Covington, McAllister, and Bryant worked to chip at the deficit. Free throws from Anderson Mwasele, Brown and Enocka Franky gave the Bears hope. A late jump shot from Kelly and free throws from Covington proved to not be enough as the Bears fell short (58-65).

Covington led the way with 11 points, going 2-2 behind the three-point arc and 3-4 in the paint. Brown followed with nine points, going 3-4 at the free-throw line with five rebounds. Kelly recorded nine points, going 4-11 in the paint. McAllister tallied eight points, going 2-3 behind the three-point arc and 3-4 in the paint.

The Bears hit the road on Wednesday, January 25 to face AAC foe Johnson University. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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