Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

BCC Men Squeeze Out 73-59 Victory Over Miami Dade

February 2, 2013 - At this point in the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference basketball season nothing comes easy.

And Saturday's Brevard Community College-Miami Dade College game in the Melbourne Campus gym was no exception.

BCC trailed 32-26 at half to a team it had beaten by 46 points two weeks ago and trailed by three with 15 minutes and 56 seconds remaining in the game.

But the Titans finally put things together by taking a 42-39 lead with 15:01 to play en route to an eventual 73-59 victory. The final score in no way reflected the struggles BCC endured until sophomore Aldor Kola sank two crucial three-pointers and an equally as vital two-pointer to get the Titans back into the game.

Sophomore co-captain Nyles Evans then asserted himself down the stretch with crucial baskets, an alley-oop that led to a thunderous dunk from classmate Gary Gaskins and several key steals during BCC's decisive 22-10 run over the final 7:47.

Evans finished with a team-high 18 points along with four steals; freshman Juri Gunjina contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds; sophomore co-captain Addison Spruill finished with 11 points and Kola with 10.

BCC improved to 20-5, remaining unbeaten at home, and 6-1 in the conference. Miami Dade, which has improved vastly since earlier in the season and gave BCC all it could handle, fell to 10-15 overall and 0-7 in the conference.

Brevard now has back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 1998-2000.

"We've got to come ready to play every game," BCC head coach Jeremy Shulman said. "And I thought we were getting closer this semester to realizing that but we have not realized it yet unfortunately.

"This is college basketball . . . if you don't come ready to play you're going to struggle at times. We've got to get better than that. We've got to sustain that energy for 40 minutes."

To that end Shulman lauded Kola's and Evans' play.

"Aldor was really big," Shulman said. "I'm very proud of Aldor. He hasn't been playing a whole lot for us. He just stepped up huge."

As for Evans: "Nyles was great. I'm fortunate to have him. He's a winner."

For his part Evans took the game in stride.

"I think we came out with a little bit of a lack of energy, we picked it up in the second half," he said. "We got through it, at the end of the day we got a W, that's all that matters.

"I didn't feel too much pressure. We just kind of picked it up."

Did the fact that BCC throttled Miami-Dade the last time factor into Saturday?

"I think it did," Evans said. "It's hard to tell, us 20 year-old kids, 19-yeear-old kids. We beat them by 46 (before). But like I said, we got the win."

Kola said he didn't feel any pressure either. He just did his job.

"I just came off the bench, I was feeling ready," he said. "Coach said 'let's go.' So I'm waiting for my number to be called. I was ready to knock shots down.

"Sometimes we start off slow. In the second half we pick things up. We've been down before. We know how to pick it up. We felt pretty comfortable."

Next up for BCC is a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday against Broward College in Davie. BCC nipped Broward 70-68 on Jan. 26 in Melbourne. BCC then plays at rival Indian River State in Fort Pierce at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Titans return home at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 against Palm Beach State in the game that most likely will decide the regular-season conference championship and guarantee a spot in the state tournament.

Admission to BCC home games is free.