Feb. 4 - GREENVILLE, Pa. – Junior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) scored 16 of his game-high 17 points in the second half to help the Bethany men’s basketball team record a 77-63 victory at Thiel Wednesday night.
In addition to improving the Bison’s record to 12-9 overall and 6-3 in the PAC, BC took over second place in the conference standings after Washington & Jefferson beat Westminster 80-64. Bethany is a game and a half behind Thomas More (14-7, 8-2) for first place in the league.
Thirteen first-half points from senior Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) helped give the Bison a 33-26 halftime lead. BC was in front 15-13 when Petkovski hit two threes in a 9-2 Bethany spurt to gave them a 24-15 advantage. Another trey from Petkovski and a lay-up from junior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) gave the Bison their largest lead of the half at 33-21, but the Tomcats scored the final five points to make it a seven-point BC lead at the break.
Bethany’s lead grew to nine in the second half, but a three-point play from Nick Sefcsik and two straight lay-ups from Cory Chafee brought the Tomcats within a basket at 44-42 with 14:56 to play. Testa would key the deciding run that followed, as he scored eight in an 18-5 surge that swelled the Bison’s advantage to 62-47. Thiel never moved closer than 12 the rest of the way and Bethany would come away with their second straight road victory.
After managing just one foul shot in the first half, Testa went 8-for-10 from the field in the second half and his 17 points was his highest total in 13 games. Freshman Lance Beckwith (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God Christian Academy) totaled 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the win, while Petkovski chipped in with 15.
For Thiel (2-17, 1-8), Chafee and Sean Devinney each scored 15.
The Bison are back in action Saturday when they host Saint Vincent at 4 p.m. The contest will not count in the PAC standings because the Bearcats are a provisional member of the PAC.