BETHANY TAKES OVER SECOND IN PAC WITH 71-64 TRIUMPH
Feb. 11 - GROVE CITY, Pa. – Freshman Lance Beckwith (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God Christian Academy) scored a game-high 18 and sophomore Ryan McFadden’s (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) first career double-double propelled the Bethany men’s basketball team to a 71-64 victory at Grove City Wednesday night.
The win not only moved the Bison (13-10, 7-3) into sole possession of second place in the PAC, it also clinched a home game for BC in the first round of the PAC Tournament. The Wolverines dropped their fourth in a row and now stand at 10-10 overall and 4-6 in the PAC.
Although GCC shot 57 percent (12-21) in the first half, they committed 10 turnovers. The Bison lived behind the arc in the opening period, hitting 6-of-22 from three-point land (27 percent) as part of 32 percent overall shooting (8-for-32) in the first half. Bethany led by three with 2:11 left in the half, but buckets by Andy O’Keefe and Caleb Orchard down the stretch gave the hosts a 26-23 advantage at intermission.
After seven lead changes in the first half, there were seven more in first nine minutes of the second half. The Bison wrestled the lead away from Grove City for the final time on a trey from senior Tyler Morando (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) for a 40-38 BC advantage with 11 minutes to play. Bethany continued to lean on threes to distant themselves from the Wolverines. Freshman Jimmy Reeves (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) finished a three-point play to run the lead to five, which was followed a couple minutes later by two more treys from Morando to expand the Green and White lead to 49-42.
Bethany swelled their cushion to double digits for the first time with a three from Beckwith and when senior Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) cashed in a triple with 2:40 left, the Bison had their biggest lead at 57-44. Grove City extended the game with quick baskets and fouls to make BC clinch the game at the foul line, but Bethany was up to the challenge. The Bison went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final minute to finish a 16-for-16 effort in the second half, as they recorded their 13th win over Grove City in the last 14 meetings.
Pacing the way for Bethany was Beckwith with 18 points, as well as seven rebounds and three assists. He did not lead the team in rebounds however, as McFadden set career-highs with 15 markers and 10 boards for his first double-double. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was junior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) with 11.
The Wolverines were led by Caleb Orchard off the bench with 13 points and O’Keefe with 11.
Bethany is now off for a week before returning to action Wednesday, Feb. 18 against Westminster at Hummel Field House. The Titans, along with Washington & Jefferson, are a game behind the Bison for second place in the PAC. Tip-off that night, which will also be Senior Night for Bethany, is scheduled for 8 p.m.