2017-18 Berry Athletics Top 10 Stories
Over the coming days, the Berry College Department of Athletics will revisit the 2017-18 season with a look at some of the top stories from the year. A new story will be revealed each day (Monday through Friday) from July 10-23.
Caleb Johnson Leads Men's Basketball Team to 8th-Seeded Stunner
The Berry College men's basketball team entered the 2017-18 Southern Athletic Association (SAA) tournament as the No. 8-seed, set to square off against the top-seeded Centre Colonels on their home floor. The Vikings then went on a miraculous tournament run, opening play by beating Centre 97-93 for the first time in program history.
"A lot of things had never happened prior to the opening round of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) men's basketball tournament this afternoon. The Vikings had never beaten the Centre College Colonels in tournament play, a No. 8 seed had never beaten a No. 1 seed in the tournament, and Centre's Alumni Gymnasium never felt more like home for the Berry men's basketball team.
Snapping a nine-game winning streak for Centre, the Vikings executed a 97-93 upset over the top-seeded Colonels in dramatic fashion to advance to the SAA semifinals for just the second time in program history. The contest saw 16 lead changes, and no team was able to lead by more than 10 at any point."
-From the Archives | Berry Vikings Game Recap from Feb. 23, 2018
Caleb Johnson posted 21 points on 6-for-14 shooting in the outing, hitting 7-for-10 at the free-throw line to follow a 26-point performance from Elijah Hirsh. Berry then faced off against Birmingham-Southern in the semifinals, securing a dominant 95-76 victory to head to the team's first SAA Championship Game in program history.
"Falling to the Panthers twice in regular season play, the Vikings jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, leading 42-35 at halftime. Caleb Johnson led all scorers with 20 points on the afternoon, contributing to Vikings' 45.2-percent (28-for-62) field goal shooting. Berry advances to its first Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title game in program history."
-From the Archives | Berry Vikings Game Recap from Feb. 24, 2018
Johnson went from good to great on Championship Sunday, torching the No. 7-seeded Hendrix College Warriors for a program-record 45 points on 14-for-20 shooting. He was also 15-for-16 at the free throw line, hit a pair of threes, had eight rebounds and never left the floor. He earned the SAA Tournament MVP award and was named Berry's first USBWA National Player of the Week for his efforts, leading the Vikings to the 88-78 victory to cap a historic weekend.
"The Alabaster, Ala., native averaged 28.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks as the Vikings defeated three opponents in three days. For the week, he shot 55.3 percent (26-of-47) from the field, 76.3 percent (29-of-38) from the line and 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point range."
-From the Archives | Press Release from Feb. 27, 2018: Johnson Selected as USBWA National Player of the Week