BETHANY MEN GET DEFENSIVE IN 68-49 VICTORY AT WESTMINSTER
Jan. 22 - NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team (12-5, 6-2) limited Westminster (4-14, 1-7) to 25 percent shooting in the second half and the Bison set a season-low for points allowed in a 68-49 victory over the Titans Saturday.
The home team scored the first five points of the contest and a lay-up by Doug Smith gave the Titans a 9-4 lead five minutes into the game. Bethany bounced back behind two three-pointers from sophomore James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) and one by sophomore Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski Area), which keyed an 11-2 to give the Green and White the lead for good.
The margin grew to as large as 11 when sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had a steal and score with 13 seconds left, but Smith was fouled taking a three with one second to go and made all three free throws to make it a 40-32 Bison lead going into halftime. Barton fired in 13 by the break, which matched Smith’s 13 for Westminster.
Following intermission, three straight hoops by Bethany, the last coming from junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) at the 11:26 mark, put BC on top 51-39. The Bison then went cold, as they didn’t score a point for more than five minutes, but the Green and White defense limited Westminster to only five points during that stretch and the lead stood at 51-44.
The cold stretch ended in a big way for Bethany when Alexander scored and was fouled with 6:23 to play. He missed the free throw, but Bethany grabbed the offensive rebound, which led to a Barton trey attempt. It was off the mark, but Alexander came crashing down the lane for a huge follow-up dunk. Those baskets ignited a game-clinching 12-0 blitz by the Bison, who were also in the midst of holding Westminster without a field goal for more than nine minutes. By the time the Titans put another hoop on the board, there was 18 seconds to go and Bethany had wrapped up their seventh consecutive win over Westminster.
Bethany finished with four scorers in double digits, led by Wilcox’s 21 points and he added eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Barton’s big first half helped him finish with 14 and Alexander and sophomore Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) both added 10. Alexander also chipped in with eight rebounds and five blocks and Mabery contributed six steals and four assists as well.
On the Titans’ side, Smith compiled 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Christian Shea scored 10.
The Bison will be on the road for second consecutive game Wednesday with a road trip to Waynesburg for a 7:30 p.m. match-up with the Yellow Jackets.