Jan. 4 – GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team (10-2, 4-0 PAC) received double-digit scoring from five different players as the Bison defeated Thiel College 66-53 on Saturday afternoon.
The first six minutes of the opening half saw three ties and four lead changes with the Tomcats holding a 10-9 edge on a layup by Reggie Goosby with 14:06 to play in the frame. It was from there, however, that the Bison took control.
Over the next 14 minutes of the first half, Bethany embarked on a 26-12 run to close out the frame. Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) and Tyrone Smothers (Baltimore, Md./Mergenthaler) got the run off to a good start, notching back-to-back threes to take a five point lead (15-10) with 11:58 to play.
After the Tomcats cut the lead to three (18-15) on a three-point basket by Khari Bess, the Bison pushed the advantage to double figures thanks to a 12-5 run. The run was sparked by Addy’s second three pointer of the half which gave Bethany a 30-20 advantage with 1:55 to play.
Addy then added his third three of the first half to extend the advantage to 33-20, and the Bison would take a 35-22 advantage into the halftime break.
Thiel’s Charlie Thomas controlled the first three minutes of the second half, notching three-consecutive three-point baskets to cut the Bison advantage to six points (37-31) with 16:37 to play in regulation.
With Bethany holding a slim, four-point advantage (39-35) with 12:56 to play in the game, the Bison would score the next eight points of the game, including four by Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis). The run once again pushed the advantage to double figures (47-35) with 11:06 to play.
Thiel would get as close as nine-points (52-43) before the Bison would extend their advantage to the largest of the game at 17 points (64-47) with just over one minute remaining. Bethany would go on for the 13-point victory, earning their 10th win of the season, and moving to a perfect 4-0 in conference play.
Offensively, Bethany saw five different players notch double figures in the scoring column, lead by a 14-point effort by Smothers. The game marked the seventh time this season that at least five players registered double digits for the Bison.
Smothers was joined in double figures by Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook), Addy, Joyce and Lawrence Weldon (Baltimore, Md./Poly). Jackson notched 12 points and 10 rebounds; Addy and Smothers totaled 11 points each and Joyce chipped in with 10.
Defensively, the Bison swiped 13 steals while forcing the Tomcats into 22 turnovers on the day. Bethany also held a 32-27 advantage on the boards and outscored Thiel 15-4 from the charity stripe.
Bethany will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, as they return to the friendly confines of the Hummel Field House for a Presidents’ Athletic Conference matchup with Westminster. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m.