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Nov. 26 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Junior guard James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) led five scorers in double digits with 23 and the Bethany College men’s basketball team held Pitt-Greensburg to 23 percent shooting in the second half, as the Bison pulled away for an 86-61 victory over the Bobcats Saturday afternoon.

The victory keeps BC’s best start in 45 years going, as Bethany now stands at 4-0 for the first time since the 1966-67 season. The defeat drops UPG to 2-2 on the year.

Pitt-Greensburg used a hot shooting first half to stay in the game with the Bison. The visitors knocked down six of their first eight attempts from the field and following a putback by David Palmer, UPG held a 16-9 lead with just over six minutes off the clock. Bethany rolled into the lead with a 16-3 run featuring 14 points from Barton and junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski Area). The Bobcats rallied to tie the game twice before the break, but two late buckets from Pacific gave the Green and White a 42-40 lead going into the break.

The first half finished with UPG shooting 56 percent (15-27) from the field, but 10 turnovers led to 15 points for the opportunistic Bison, who committed just one turnover in the opening half.

The Bobcats would tie the score one more time at 46 early in the second half on a three-pointer by Brock Witkowski, but the final 17 minutes were dominated by Bethany. Barton cashed in a triple to ignite a streak of 12 consecutive BC points, but that was just the start of a Bison avalanche of points. Six different players scored during a 33-2 Bethany surge that took a tie score to a 77-48 lead with over seven minutes to play.

After that run, Bethany closed the game out with nine different players scoring and a defensive effort which allowed UPG to make just 5-of-22 from the floor (22.7 percent) and forced 13 more Bobcat turnovers in the second half. The 23 Pitt-Greensburg turnovers were converted into 34 points by BC in the victory.

Five different players reached double digits for Bethany, led by Barton with a season-best 23 points and he also hauled down seven rebounds. Pacific dropped in 18 off the bench, while juniors Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), who had 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals, and Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands), who compiled 11 markers, six steals and four boards, turned in big all-around games.

The final double digit scorer for Bethany was sophomore Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti), who notched 10 points and eight boards. The win was even more impressive on the Bison side due to senior forward British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) not returning after suffering a laceration less than two minutes into the game following a blocked shot.

Leading Pitt-Greensburg was Palmer with 16 points, all of which came in the first half, and Brian Heinle with 14 points.

The game was Bethany’s final tune-up for PAC play, which opens up Wednesday when the Bison travel to Grove City for an 8 p.m. tip-off against the Wolverines.