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Bethany Heads to PAC Co-Leader Thomas More Wednesday

Feb. 12 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team will try to knock Thomas More from the top of the conference when the Bison travel to Kentucky to take on the Saints Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

3192Mabery12.jpg Bethany nearly toppled the team tied with Thomas More for first in the conference Saturday, as BC rallied from a seven-point deficit with two minutes left in regulation to tie Saint Vincent and send the game to overtime. Although the Bison made 4-of-6 from the floor in the extra session, the Bearcats converted 12-of-14 from the foul line to pull out a 69-66 victory. Senior Reece Mabery (right - Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) scored a game-high 18 points and senior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) tallied 15.

A win by the Bison Wednesday would secure the third seed in next week’s PAC Tournament. At 9-5 in the PAC, Bethany is a half-game in front of Thiel (9-6) for the third spot. If the Bison are able to knock off Thomas More, they would own the top tiebreaker over the Tomcats, regardless of what happens in the season finales. If the Saints defeat BC, the teams would be tied and the third and fourth seeds would be determined by Saturday’s games that pits Bethany at Washington & Jefferson and Thiel at home against Grove City.

Bethany will be trying to take a season split against Thomas More after TMC won the first encounter 63-51. The Bison shot just 28 percent from the floor, including a frigid 4-for-22 from the arc. Senior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) had 12 points and Pacific added 10 to lead BC. For Thomas More, Spencer Berlekamp had a game-high 14 and D’Carlo Hayes finished with 10 markers.

The victory was part of Thomas More’s current 11-game winning streak, as TMC has not lost since December. The latest triumph was a 72-62 win over Thiel Saturday afternoon, as the Saints used a 10-2 run over the final two minutes to clinch the victory. Hayes was a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line and had 21 points, while Brandon Housley scored 14 and Josef Marshall had 13.

The Saints (20-3, 13-1), who are ranked third in this week’s NCAA Great Lakes Region, are one of the most efficient teams in the conference. They rank first in field goal percentage at 45.0, as well as first in free throw percentage (74.5), as Thomas More’s 585 attempts from the charity stripe are more than 50 ahead of the next team. Hayes is leading the team with 12.7 points per game, as well as 43 steals. Housley is averaging 8.8 points and a team-leading 4.7 rebounds a contest and a total of 10 Saints are averaging five or more points per game.