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Nov. 30 - GROVE CITY, Pa. – After trailing by as many as 12 early in the second half, the Bethany College men’s basketball team rallied all the way back and outscored Grove City 22-10 in the final six minutes to escape with a 67-63 victory in Wednesday’s PAC opener.

The Bison (5-0, 1-0) used a string of seven straight points, five coming from junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), to take a 20-18 lead in the opening half. The Wolverines (3-2, 0-1) answered back by closing the half with a 15-4 spurt to build a 33-24 advantage going into halftime. Closing out the run was GCC freshman Mitch Marmelstein, who scored the final six points of the period to compile 11 by the break.

Marmelstein kept filling it up to open the second half, as he drilled a triple for the first points of stanza to give the home team a 36-24 lead. The rest of the period would see wild momentum swings between the teams. Bethany caught on from fire from the arc to race back into the contest, as the team’s next six baskets were three-pointers, including a pair from junior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) and freshman Dylan Gravatt (Franklin, Pa./Rocky Grove). A lay-up by sophomore Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) completed a 20-2 surge and BC was in front 44-38.

Grove City then heated up from the outside, as treys from Christian Durbin, J.T. Schwartz and Marmelstein were part of a 13-1 run that lifted the home team to a 53-45 lead. After nearly two minutes of scoreless play, the Bison began to make their move with six minutes to play. Wilcox scored five, as the Green and White tallied nine of the next 10 points to draw even at 54-54 at the four-minute mark.

The Wolverines went back in front on a Durbin three, but it didn’t take long for Bethany to retake the advantage. Lay-ups by Wilcox and Addy gave BC the lead for good and they gained some breathing room a possession later when Addy swished a trifecta from the right wing to make it 61-57. Grove City managed to get within a basket, but the Bison never lost the lead again and made enough free throws down the stretch to remain unbeaten and continue the program’s best start since 1966.

The Bethany comeback was fueled by a strong defensive effort. After Grove City committed just three turnovers in the first half, BC forced 13 Wolverine miscues in the second period that were converted into 24 points.

Playing without two starters, the Bison leaned heavily on a pair of juniors to pick up the scoring. Wilcox amassed 20 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the year and added four assists and three steals. Pacific notched 15 points in the triumph, while Gravatt stepped up with 10 off the bench.

Marmelstein finished as the top scorer in the game with 24 points and Schwartz was the only other player to reach double digits with 10.

Bethany will try to match the 6-0 start posted by the 1966 team and also aim to stay unbeaten in league play on Saturday. The Bison will host Geneva, who lost its conference opener Wednesday to Thomas More, in a 4 p.m. tip-off.