Jan. 13 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Thomas More's Daniel McKeehan's scored on a putback as the buzzer sounded, giving the Saints a 90-88 victory over the Bethany men's basketball team Wednesday night in a battle for first place in the PAC.
McKeehan's score capped a wild second-half comeback for Thomas More, who trailed 55-34 with 18:10 to play following a three-pointer from Bethany's Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview). The Saints climbed their way back into the game and tied it at 80-80 with 4:55 remaining. The Bison answered with six straight and held an 88-82 advantage with 2:51 to play, but did not score again.
Thomas More rallied again to tie the score at 88 on a foul shot by Daniel Whelan with 1:13 to go. After a BC turnover, the Saints missed one shot but gathered the offensive rebound and played for the final shot. Eddie Brown missed a baseline jumper with three seconds left, but McKeehan hauled down the rebound and muscled his way back up for the winning bucket as time expired, giving the Saints the win and sole possession of first place in the PAC.
The first half of the game could not have gone much better for Bethany. The Green and White made 20-of-30 attempts from the field (67 percent) and Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity), who had 18 by intermission, closed a big first half with a three-point play late in the period to give the Bison a 48-34 lead at the break.
For the game, Bethany (9-5, 3-2) shot a staggering 62 percent (36-58) from the floor, including 9-for-19 from the arc, but committed 28 turnovers against Thomas More's pressure that led to 32 Saints points.
Pacing the Bison offense was Testa with a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds. Fellow senior Jonas Ankrom (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) came off the bench to knock down four triples and total a career-best 20, while senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) tossed in 13.
For Thomas More (11-4, 4-1), McKeehan and Colt Stafford each scored 17, while Whelan dropped in 12.
Bethany will return to the floor Saturday with a non-conference match-up at Franciscan, scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m.