Nov. 18 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team saw an 18-point second half lead slip away due to a furious rally from visiting Baldwin-Wallace, but the Bison recovered to close the game with a 9-2 run and come away with a 72-65 victory over the Yellow Jackets Friday night.
The win takes BC’s record to 2-0, the first time Bethany has opened the year with two consecutive victories since the 1985-86 campaign. Baldwin-Wallace falls to 1-1 with the defeat.
The Bison led by a bucket midway through the opening stanza before taking charge with a 12-2 spurt, which was capped by triples from juniors Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) and James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.). The BC advantage would stand at 34-25 going into halftime when junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski Area), who scored 10 in the opening period, hit a lay-up just before the halftime buzzer.
Nearing the middle portion of the second half, Bethany looked like it seized complete control of the match-up. Pacific cashed in a trey to ignite a 15-4 run, which also featured threes from sophomore Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) and Barton to push the Green and White lead out to 58-40 with 11:14 to go.
Then the Bison went ice cold from the field and Baldwin-Wallace came storming back into the game. With the home team going scoreless for more than six minutes, the Yellow Jackets ripped off 17 straight points and even after Bethany broke the string on a free throw by junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), B-W got a lay-in to tie the game at 59.
The teams exchanged scores to keep the game tied at 63 until there were less than two minutes to play. Working from the top of the key, Pacific drove to the rim for the score and foul. He would swish the foul shot for a three-point spread and B-W was never closer than one the rest of the way. The Bison clinched the victory by going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 51 seconds and take their first win over Baldwin-Wallace since 2001.
Pacific came off the bench to lead Bethany with 18 points, while Wilcox posted a strong line of 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and three steals. Senior forward British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) notched his second double-double of the year with 10 markers and 13 boards and rounding out the double digit scorers in a balanced attack was Addy with 12 and Barton with 10.
The Yellow Jackets were paced by Kyle Payne with 20 points and Kevin Krakowiak and Grant Fairhurst both dropped in 13.
The Bison will remain at home for a pair of games next week, as BC hosts Muskingum on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. tip-off and Pitt-Greensburg next Saturday in a 3 p.m. match-up.