The contest did not get off to a very good start for the Green and White, as Westminster’s Ryne Murray scored three baskets and Andy Timko knocked down a pair of threes to help the visitors roll out to a 21-12 lead with just under 15 minutes left in the opening half. The complexion of the game changed however with an 18-1 Bethany blitz over the next five minutes. Sophomore forward Ryan Besancon (Wooster, Ohio/Waynedale) had eight points during the run. The Bison continued to push the issue offensively until their halftime lead stood at 52-36, a season-high for points in the opening half by BC.
Besancon tallied 10 to lead Bethany scorers in the first half, which saw the Bison knock down 10 three-pointers. Leading the Titans, who were held to 28 percent (11-39) shooting in the first half, was Craig Hannon with 14.
Westminster scored the opening basket of the second half to make it a 14-point game, but within two minutes, the Bison advantage was up to 20 and Bethany was able to coast to the win that drew them even with Grove City (10-6, 4-1) for the top spot in the league. As accurate as BC shooters were in the first half, they were even more effective in the second half. Bethany shot a blistering 70 percent (21-30) in the final 20 minutes, which helped them record their largest margin of victory since a 105-55 win over D’Youville (N.Y.) College on Jan. 8, 2006.
Leading Bethany’s red-hot offense was senior Marcus Adams (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy), who finished with 16 points, five assists and four steals. Besancon (14 points, 10 rebounds) and fellow sophomore forward Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity), who finished with 14 markers and 12 boards, both registered double-doubles. It was the second in the last three games for Besancon and the first of the year for Testa. Junior guard Tyler Morando (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) matched the two forward’s point production with 14.
Completing the big scorers for Bethany was Jackson, who with 13 points went over 900 for his career and now has 910. He also handed out seven assists. And coming off the bench with 10 was sophomore forward Jonas Ankrom (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan).
Hannon tallied 20 to lead Westminster, who suffered their second-biggest loss in school history. Murray had a double-double with 13 points and 16 boards and Timko knocked down 10.
Bethany will try to remain tied atop the conference standings Wednesday when they travel to Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. with the Presidents (6-8, 3-2), who are just one game behind the Bison following a 92-63 thumping of Waynesburg Saturday.