The Bevill State Bears and a jam-packed Glen Clem Gymnasium celebrated Sophomore Night with an 82-76 victory over the Lawson State Cougars on Thursday.
With the win, the Bears have assured at least a second-place berth in the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tournament next month at Shelton State.
Latrell Tate led Bevill State with 21 points and was key at the free-throw line in the final moments of the game, connecting for eight points.
Walter Garfield contributed 13 points, Javontay Rollings scored 12 points, Korri Edwards had 11 points with five rebounds and Nelson Haskin recorded a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, along with six blocks and four steals.
The Bears (16-10 overall, 10-3 in the ACCC)established momentum early in the first half, building a double-digit lead. Tate had 12 of his 21 points in the first half, with Bevill State on top 43-29.
Lawson State (18-9, 7-6) cut the Bears’ lead down to seven points at the 10:40 mark of the second half after a basket made the score 58-51.
Bevill State responded with a 9-2 run with Edwards and Rollings making shots and Tate converting a 3-point play to push the lead back to 14 points at 67-53.
Lawson State was able to break the Bears’ double-digit lead into single digits one last time with five minutes left in regulation, but key free throws by Rollings and Tate helped Bevill State preserve the 82-76 win.
The sophomores honored in a ceremony before the game were Tate, Haskin, Edwards, Javon Duncan, Jacob Woodard, Malik Betts and Miguel Williams.
The Bears close the regular season on Monday on the road against the Marion Military Institute Tigers.
The ACCC Tournament is set for March 3-6.