Bethany Aiming for 2-0 PAC Start Saturday at Grove City
Nov. 30 -BETHANY, W.Va. – After posting a solid win in the league opener Wednesday, the Bethany College men’s basketball team will try to go to 2-0 in the PAC Saturday with a road trip to Grove City. Tip-off with the Wolverines is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Bison coasted to a 1-0 start in league action with a 92-67 victory over Waynesburg Wednesday night. After leading by just eight at halftime, BC opened it up in the early stages of the second half with a 19-0 run and cruised to their 22nd consecutive victory over the Yellow Jackets. Senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) led the scoring barrage with 16 points and made five steals, while senior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) dropped in 15.
Bethany is leading the PAC in three-point percentage so far at 41.4 percent and has been on fire the last two games. After hitting 15 threes against Penn State-Fayette, BC sank 12 treys in the Waynesburg win. The 27 triples is the most made in back-to-back games since Jan. 2010 when the Bison hit 27 in victories over Washington & Jefferson (11) and Westminster (16). Pacific (right) and Barton lead the sharp shooters with 10 threes apiece and Pacific ranks second in the PAC in accuracy, as he’s hit 55.6 percent (10-18) of his attempts.
Barton and Pacific both played key roles in Bethany taking two wins over Grove City a year ago. In the opening conference match-up of the season, BC trailed by 12 in the second half but behind 20 points from Wilcox and 15 from Pacific, they rallied for a 67-63 triumph. The Bison would win the second meeting in more convincing fashion, as 20 points from Barton and 15 from Wilcox spurred Bethany to a 78-57 win on their home floor.
This year’s Wolverines squad will be trying to claim its first victory of the campaign. Grove City is off to a 0-4 start, including a 0-1 mark in the PAC following a 64-45 defeat at Thomas More Wednesday. The Wolverines limited the Saints to just 25 percent shooting in the first half and trailed TMC 26-23 at the break. Thomas More heated up in the second half, shooting 50 percent, and Grove City made just seven field goals in taking the loss. Leading the Wolverines was forward Mark Pilarski off the bench with 10 points.
Scoring has been an issue for the Wolverines this year, as they rank last in the conference with 56.5 points per game. But Grove City does play its typical stingy defense, ranking second in the league in points allowed (67.8) and first in field goal percentage defense (38.8) and three-point percentage defense (28.2). Guard Mitch Marmelstein, who poured in 24 against the Bison in their first meeting last year, is the top scorer for the Wolverines with 11.8 points per game. Coming in behind him are guards J.T. Schwartz with 9.3 points, as well as 3.7 assists and 3.0 steals, and Christian Durbin with 9.0 points per game.