BETHANY MEN HOPE TO EXTEND WAYNESBURG STREAK SATURDAY
Jan. 6 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team returns home for the first time in six games Saturday when Waynesburg pays a visit to Hummel Field House for a PAC tilt. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.
The Bison (12-1, 4-0) remained atop the conference standings with Thiel (8-4, 5-0) with a big road win Wednesday. After bolting to a 19-point halftime lead, BC never let Washington & Jefferson get closer than 12 in the second half in coming away with a 79-60 decision. Bethany forced W&J, who entered the game with the fewest turnovers per game in the conference (13.8) into 21 miscues and converted those into 30 points. Junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) notched his fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 boards and junior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) matched him with 18 markers.
Bethany enjoyed a banner night at the foul line against W&J, setting season-highs by making 84 percent on 21 free throws in 25 attempts. As a team, BC is tied for first in the league in free throw percentage at 72.2 and boast the top three individuals in the PAC. Junior Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) is making 90.6 percent (29-32) and hasn’t missed a foul shot since the Dec. 10 win over Thomas More, as he’s made 11 straight. Barton is right on his heels in second, as he is converting 90.0 (27-30) of his foul shots and was a perfect 7-for-7 on Wednesday night.
Junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) rounds out the trio of Bison at the top at 87.5 percent (28-32) and he made 20 consecutive free throws earlier this season. Sophomore Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) is also a strong shooter at 75 percent (12-16).
In addition to trying to stay at least tied atop the league standings with Thiel, who will come to Bethany Wednesday night for a big early season showdown, the Bison will be hoping to extend a long winning streak against Waynesburg. Dating back to the 2002-03 season, BC has captured 18 consecutive decisions against the Yellow Jackets to take a commanding 61-38 advantage in the all-time series. Last year saw Bethany take both meetings by convincing margins, including an 87-59 win at home four scorers in double digits and a 73-52 victory at Waynesburg, which was highlighted by 13 points and a school-record 12 steals by Mabery.
The Yellow Jackets (3-10, 0-4) opened the season at 2-3, but have dropped seven of their last eight. Waynesburg went on the road Wednesday and gave Saint Vincent all it could handle before falling 68-61. After leading by one at halftime, the Jackets took a five-point advantage early in the second half but SVC took the lead for good with a 10-0 spurt and held on for the win. Guards Larry Alexander and Lou Galante both hit four three-pointers and tallied 22 and 12 points respectively.
Alexander is the leading scorer for Waynesburg with 11.9 points per game and his 29 three-pointers is the third-highest total in the conference. As a team, the Yellow Jackets have attempted 293 treys as a team, second-most in the PAC, and made 6.85 per game to rank fourth. Galante has made 19 triples this season and is putting in 7.2 points per game and the top rebounder is Kurt Bonnet, who is averaging 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.