It might seem surprising, but Columbia College men’s basketball coach Bob Burchard’s wasn’t pleased with the Cougars’ torrid first half 3-point shooting.
In Columbia College’s 77-56 victory against Lindenwood on Monday night at the Arena of Southwell Complex, the Cougars made eight first-half 3-pointers while opening up 49-29 halftime lead. But it was the decision by Burchard to force the ball to the post that kept the lead stable.
“I told them we can’t do that,” said Burchard of his team’s 20 3-point attempts in the first half. “We got to start putting that ball inside and start playing around the basket.”
The Cougars responded by feeding forward Craig Bryan steadily to begin the second half. Bryan, a 6-foot-8 senior, scored the Cougars first 10 second-half points and finished with a game-high 21 points.
“That was definitely one of the funnest games to play in. They’re a great team,” said Bryan, whose physical defense against Lindenwood’s top offensive weapon, sophomore Dustin Bevard, was a key to the victory.
“We knew he was scoring 22 points a game … So Coach Burchard came out and said, ‘Craig you have to stop him. ’”
Bevard finished with 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
The dedication to quality interior shots came after the Cougars shot 40 percent from 3-point range and 41 percent overall in the first half. The shooting tutorial featured a 12-0 run, which resulted in a 33-19 lead with six minutes left in the first half and negated a 6-0 Lindenwood run to close out the half.
“We all know we can knock down shots,” junior guard Terrance Smith said, who made three 3-pointers in the first ten minutes. He finished with 15 points and six assists.