BETHANY SUFFERS FIRST LOSS AT BALDWIN-WALLACE 76-71
Nov. 18 - BEREA, Ohio – Junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) tallied 18 points, but Baldwin-Wallace rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to come back for a 76-71 victory over the Bethany College men’s basketball team Thursday evening.
The Bison (1-1) were facing a big deficit out of the gate, as the Yellow Jackets (1-1) opened the game with a 14-4 run. Bethany immediately began chipping away with five consecutive points from senior Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) and they took their first lead on a lay-up by senior Ray Gardner (Detroit, Mich./Livonia Clarenceville) with eight minutes left. The half ended with a 15-7 BC run, keyed by seven markers from senior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview), and the Bison led by a 39-33 margin at the break.
After B-W opened the second half with a score, McFadden and sophomore Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) posted consecutive hoops to give Bethany their biggest lead at 43-35. Baldwin-Wallace stormed right back, as Zane Meeder scored nine during a 16-4 run to put the home team back on top 51-47. Later on, B-W posted nine points in a row to take a 66-58 lead with five minutes to play.
The back-and-forth nature of the second half continued with a 9-2 spurt by Bethany and when sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) finished a conventional three-point play, BC was within one at 68-67 with 2:18 to go. But the Bison could not come all the way back, as B-W scored on the other end to push their lead back to three and they would go 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds to hold off Bethany.
Leading the Bison in the setback was Alexander, who went 6-for-7 from the foul line for 18 points and he grabbed a team-leading six rebounds. Also hitting for double digits was McFadden with 13 and Mabery with 12, while Opalka chipped in nine points off the bench.
The Yellow Jackets had four players reach double figures, paced by Kyle Payne with 19 markers and Meeder with 18.
Bethany’s opening week of the season will continue Saturday with a road trip to Wooster (1-0), who was ranked sixth in the D3Hoops.com Top 25 preseason poll. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.