Dec. 16 WBB vs. Hiram (L, 69-64); Dec. 17 MBB vs. St. John Fisher (L, 79-70); Dec. 31 MBB vs. Ohio Northern (1:00 p.m.)

Bethany Starts PAC Action Wednesday against Waynesburg

Nov. 27 -BETHANY, W.Va. – The two-time defending PAC champion Bethany College men’s basketball team will start the journey towards another conference crown Wednesday night when its hosts Waynesburg for an 8 p.m. tip-off.

The Bison won its final tune-up for league play Saturday with a 109-70 decision over Penn State-Fayette. In addition to turning 31 Lion turnovers into 43 points, BC sank 15-of-31 from three-point land in the triumph. Senior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) led the Green and White attack with 18 points, while senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) netted 16 and made five steals and senior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) drained four treys for a dozen markers.

5004Wilcox12.jpg Sparked by a red-hot touch from the outside, as Bethany leads the conference in three-point accuracy (38.7), the Bison are putting up a league-best 93.8 points per game so far. The balanced offense is led by Wilcox (right), who is seventh in the PAC with 16.5 points per game, but he has company, as four other Bison are ranked in the top 30 in the circuit in scoring. Headlining that group in 10th place is Barton with 13.8 a game and Mabery is right behind him in 12th with 13.3.

Bethany will be trying to continue its recent dominance over Waynesburg in Wednesday’s game. The Bison have claimed 21 consecutive victories over the Yellow Jackets, a streak which started with an 82-74 win in the 2003 PAC Tournament Quarterfinals. Bethany added three to that total last year, which included 73-45 and 75-44 triumphs in the regular season. Then in the PAC Tournament Quarterfinals, the Bison had to fend off a feisty Yellow Jacket squad for an 82-69 win. Wilcox turned in 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to lead five scorers in double figures and offset a 17-point showing by Waynesburg’s Jacob Fleegle.

This year’s Yellow Jacket team has alternated decisions to bring a 2-2 mark into Wednesday’s contest. Waynesburg went back to .500 on Saturday by claiming a 72-60 victory over visiting Penn State-Altoona. After taking a 36-25 halftime lead, the Jackets kept the Lions at bay in the second half to record the win. A well-rounded attack was piloted by Thomas Ellis and EJ Coleman with 12 points each and Fleegle with 11.

Waynesburg is off to the 2-2 start despite ranking eighth in the conference in scoring with 66.2 points per game and ninth in field goal percentage at 37.1 percent. The top two scorers both come off the bench for the Yellow Jackets in Ellis with 11.5 points per game and Kenny Klase with 10.0. Ellie is also the squad’s top rebounder with 6.0 boards per game and is shooting 51 percent from the floor. Fleegle is another threat to keep an eye on with 9.3 points a game.