BETHANY AIMING FOR PAC REGULAR SEASON CROWN SATURDAY
Feb. 17 - BETHANY, W.Va. – With a win Saturday at Saint Vincent, the Bethany College men’s basketball team can clinch the PAC regular season crown and home court advantage throughout next week’s PAC Tournament. Game time at the Carey Center in Latrobe, Pa., is slated for 6 p.m.
The Bison (21-3, 13-2) overcame a sluggish start Wednesday to pull away from Westminster for a 91-65 triumph. Six players notched double figures in the win, led by junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski), who stepped off the bench to deliver 19 markers. Junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had another impressive performance with 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals and sophomore Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) had a career-high 14.
The 21 wins this season is tied for the second-most by a Bison team in the regular season, matching the 2005-06 team that finished the regular season 21-4. If BC pulls out a victory Saturday, they would tie the 2004-05 Bethany squad that completed the regular season with a 22-3 mark. Both of the 2005 and 2006 teams would go on to win the PAC Tournament those seasons and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) enjoyed another strong game Wednesday with 12 points and 11 rebounds, his seventh double-double this year. Although he was forced to sit out two games because of injury recently, his production has seen an upswing. In his last four games, he has three double-doubles and is averaging 10.8 rebounds. His play is looking similar to the end of last year when he helped guide BC to the PAC Tournament title and into the NCAA Tournament. In the final seven games of the 2011 season, he averaged 13.6 points, 12.4 boards and 3.4 blocked shots.
Alexander was one of several Bison to register big games in Bethany’s 77-63 win over Saint Vincent back on Jan. 20th. Junior point guard Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) spearheaded the effort with 27 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the arc and 9-for-9 from the foul line. Alexander also chipped in 15 markers, eight rebounds and four blocks. The Bearcats were led by Dillon Stith with 24 off the bench.
Bethany earning a sweep over Saint Vincent will not be easy, as the Bearcats (18-6, 11-4) are 10-2 since January. However, they are coming off one of those setbacks, as SVC had a 14-point second-half lead slip away in falling at Thomas More 81-74. Saint Vincent led by one with 2:07 to play, but the Saints scored the game’s final eight points to claim the win. The Bearcats were guided by their dynamic backcourt of Chris Klimchock and Dennis Bassich with 24 points each.
Although both Bethany and Saint Vincent can light up the scoreboard, both are excellent defensive teams as well, with BC ranking first in the league in points allowed (60.1) and the Bearcats right behind them in second (61.3). Both teams are also tied for the fewest turnovers committed per game at 12.8. The Bison would be very fortunate to repeat their defensive performance against Bassich, who is second in the PAC in scoring (16.6) and three-pointers (55), but the senior guard did not score in the first game with BC. Other top scorers include forward Tauvon Pettiford at 11.3 points per game, Klimchock with 10.3 points and 4.3 assists per game and Stith, who is averaging 10.2 points and a team-best 5.6 boards a game.
Fans that can not make the trip to Saint Vincent for the games can follow the action live from their home computer. Both the women’s and men’s games on Saturday will be video streamed live as the “Games of the Week” by the PAC Sports Network at http://www.pacstream.net/ .