Jan. 16 - STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – All 13 players who saw time notched at least two points, as the Bethany men’s basketball team sprinted to a 12-point halftime lead and pulled away for a 93-60 victory at Franciscan Saturday afternoon.
The first half featured runs from both sides. Consecutive treys from junior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) and senior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) started a 10-2 spurt from the Bison (10-5) to give them an early 15-7 lead. The Barons (2-11) answered with nine straight points to go in front 16-15, but their stretch was snapped on BC’s ensuing possession when senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) drilled a three to give Bethany the lead for good.
Franciscan was still within striking distance until late in the half when the Bison totaled eight of the final 10 points, including a lay-up by senior Jonas Ankrom (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) just before time expired, to send BC into the locker room with a 42-30 cushion.
Bethany continued their push to start the second half with a 10-3 spurt, but the Barons chipped away to cut the deficit to 54-41 at the 14:21 mark on a lay-up by Thomas Early. That was as close as the hosts would get, as the Bison pulled away with a 17-4 run over the next four minutes to build a 71-45 lead and the BC reserves kept pouring it on down the stretch to produce the final 93-60 margin.
Testa led all scorers in the contest with 22 points, his third straight game with 20+ points and fifth in the last six outings. He also hauled down a team-high eight boards to help Bethany finish with a 38-30 rebounding advantage.
Joining Testa in double digits was Lyonett with a dozen, freshman James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) with a career-high 11 and freshman Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski Area) with a personal-best 10.
Josh Ducoulombier finished as the leading scorer for Franciscan with 15.
The Bison return to the conference battles on Wednesday when they travel to Washington & Jefferson to continue the longest running rivalry in either team’s basketball history. The Presidents lead the series 90-71 and tip-off for the 162nd meeting will be at 6 p.m. in W&J’s Henry Memorial Center.