(GRAYSON, Ky.) – The Truett McConnell University men’s basketball team traveled for an Appalachian Athletic Conference match-up against Kentucky Christian University, where a strong first half from the Bears proved not enough against the Knights strong offensive second half (56-63). TMU falls to a record of 6-10, 4-8 AAC, while the Knights rise to 4-13, 4-9 AAC.

The Bears had back-to-back shots in the paint from Enocka Franky and EJ Smith to capture an early lead. The Knights were quick to respond, but a three-point shot from Brent Kelly continued to spark the Bears momentum. Multiple shots from the Knights created a large margin, while three consecutive shots from Raul Arias-Ortega and two free throws from Smith cut the deficit. A pivotal layup from Kelly recaptured the Bear’s lead, followed by a layup from Cory Seitz and a three-point shot from Cooper Rubio. A layup and free-throw combo from CJ Brown sent the Bears into the half with a 33-27 lead.

In the second half, the Knights quickly worked their way back with shots of their own, when a layup from Franky and a jump shot from Kelly continued to add to TMU’s lead. Clutch three-point shots from the Knights sent them ahead, but a three-point shot from Franky put both teams neck-and-neck. A three-point shot from Kelly brought TMU within one, but the Knights responded with shots of their own. A tip-in from Franky and a layup from Kelly was ultimately not enough, leaving TMU to fall 56-63.

Kelly led the way with 15 points, going 2-4 behind the three-point arc and 1-2 at the free-throw line. Franky followed with 11 points, going 5-8 in the paint with seven rebounds on the evening. Kafunba Toure and Arias-Ortega recorded eight points apiece, where Toure was 3-4 in the paint with six rebounds and Arias-Ortega was 4-11 in the paint. 


The Bears return to the Benjamin F. Brady Arena to host AAC foe, St. Andrews University, on Wednesday, January 11. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.