Former Surry Homeschool star Sydney Bedsaul didn’t take long to make a splash at the next level.
After not leaving the bench in her first two games for Bob Jones University’s women’s basketball team, Bedsaul made her debut on Tuesday, Nov. 3 against Truett-McConnell College of Cleveland, Ga., and ended up making the difference in the Lady Bruins’ 62-52 victory.
Bedsaul, who helped Surry’s Lady Patriots win the 2015 N.C. Home Educators Athletic Conference state title on her way to putting up more than 1,000 points in an illustrious four-year career, signed with Bob Jones shortly before graduating high school in May. She stated that she didn’t seriously consider any other school, citing BJU’s strong Christian philosophy and its strong basketball program.
Bedsaul made her collegiate debut in the second quarter of the Lady Bruins’ game with TMC. Bob Jones had gotten off to a poor start in the game, with the hosts jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The Lady Bruins were still behind, until Bedsaul fired in back-to-back 3-pointers and teammate Brianna Delaney banked in a jumper that completely erased BJU’s deficit.
Truett-McConnell bounced back to retake a five-point lead, and still led 33-31 going to the fourth quarter when Bedsaul struck again, knocking down her third trey to open the final stanza with the Lady Bruins’ first lead of the game. Bob Jones went on to dominate the fourth quarter, outscoring TMC 31-19.
“On a poor shooting night by our starters, several players stepped up from our bench to help carry us,” commented head coach Mike LeViere of the performances of Bedsaul and two other reserves, fellow freshman Bhrianna Jackson and sophomore Sha’Ron Brunson.
Bedsaul’s performance — she was 4-for-5 from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc, in 20 minutes of play, earned her the PlanFIRST Player of the Game award.
Bedsaul played 11 minutes in the team’s next game, a 68-52 victory over Johnson Bible University of Knoxville, Tenn., scoring three points. Her playing time was limited in the most recent game, Monday night at home against Columbia College. She got to the free-throw line and made one of two free throws. As a team, the Lady Bruins rode a dominant fourth quarter to a 76-62 win and improved to 4-1 on the season.
Bedsaul isn’t the only former Runnin’ Patriot on the BJU women’s basketball roster. When she joined the Lady Bruins, she reunited with former teammate Hannah Tompkins, a senior from Ararat, Va., who played for Surry between 2009 and 2012. Tompkins has actually started in four of the team’s five games this season, averaging 21 minutes a contest and three points per game. She showed signs of breaking out of a shooting slump in the game against Columbia, when she scored a season-high nine points in 26 minutes, with four rebounds and four assists.
At Surry, Bedsaul began her career as a shooting guard, but transitioned to primarily playing at the point her last two years. During her senior season, the Lady Patriots hosted the Final Four of the NCHEAC state championships on their homecourt at the Armfield Civic Center. In the state championship game against Greensboro, she scored a career-high 29 points. The team then hit the road to play in the national championships and finished seventh overall, with an overall record of 30-9.
Reach John on Twitter at @johncate73.