by Michael D. Gunnell
Southwest Sports Information
The Bears put up a good fight Thursday night, but, once again, the ball just would not bounce their way as they dropped a 76-67 MACJC South Division contest to the visiting Hinds Bulldogs.
Hinds (10-7, 3-5) led for all but six second of the first half. A 13-2 run but the visitors on top 23-11 with 11:18 on the clock.
The Bears fought back, pulling to within 23-18 on a Jalon Andrews bucket with 8:49 left before the break.
With the Bears down 32-18, a Damian Dear three pointer and two Andrews free throws brought the Bears back to within 34-33 with 0:58 showing. Hinds would then take a 36-33 lead into intermission.
A 6-0 to start the second half gave the Bears a 39-36 lead with 17:55 left in the game. But, Hind would score four of the next six points to regain the lead (42-41) with 16:27 on the clock.
A Roderick Smith layup and Arturro Bingham jumper gave the Bears (10-7, 2-6) a 49-48 lead with 11:23 to go.
Hinds quickly regained the lead, 50-49, with 11:10 remaining. Later, an 11-2 run put the visitors on top 65-55 with 6:12 to play.
Smith's basket with 2:22 left brought the Bears to within 69-65, but they would get no closer as Hinds escaped with the win.
"Our 2-3 zone in the first half got us back into the game," said Bears head coach Bryan Bender, "and we got some defensive stops. We've just got to piece a whole game together."
"It's been a struggle for us," Bender continued, "but they're (the Bears) are still playing hard (and) that's all you can ask."
Dear scored 20 points for the Bears to lead all scorers. Andrews and Smith both netted 11 points. The Bears went 13-19 at the free throw line.
Hinds was led by Malik Henry's 17 points. The visitors hit 13 of 16 free throws.
The Bears look to return to the win column on February 4 when they travel to Meridian Community College to face the Eagles. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.