Jan. 19 - WAYNESBURG, Pa. – After the Bethany College men’s basketball team rallied all the way back from a 13-point first-half deficit, Waynesburg’s E.J. Coleman scored the tie-breaking basket with 44 seconds left and the Yellow Jackets went on to upend the Bison 67-64 Saturday.
The loss dropped Bethany to 6-3 in the PAC, although they remain a game in front of Thiel and Washington & Jefferson for third place in the standings as they too suffered upset losses on the road. The Tomcats were taken down by Geneva 77-76 and W&J fell by an 86-79 count at Westminster.
The lead swapped hands five times in the first six minutes, with BC taking a 10-9 advantage on a three-point play from senior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) with 14:23 to go in the period. But a three from LaVance Turnage Jr. started an 11-0 run for the home team and Waynesburg controlled the rest of the first half. Their lead ballooned to 13 points following a trey by Thomas Ellis with a minute left, but a lay-up by sophomore Delonte Joyce (Annapolis, Md.) and deep three just before the buzzer by junior Tyrone Smothers (right - Baltimore, Md./Merganthaler) had Bethany back within eight at 38-30 going into halftime.
The Bison made several attempts to take the lead in the second half, but were rebuffed every time by the Yellow Jackets (7-11, 2-7). The home team extended its lead to 12 early in the stanza, but Bethany chipped away to get within a basket twice, only to see Waynesburg score. The Green and White finally managed to draw even at 60-60 on a bucket by junior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) with 2:50 remaining, but that was answered by two free throws from the Jackets’ Jason Propst.
Bethany tied the score again on a foul shot by Addy and another by senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) with a minute to play, but with 44 ticks on the clock, Coleman got in the lane and scored to put Waynesburg in front for good. The Bison missed a jumper on the other end with a chance to tie and Coleman then made 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 20 seconds to clinch the win for the Yellow Jackets, their first over Bethany since 2003 which snapped BC’s 22-game winning streak in the series.
The Bison had another tough shooting night, hitting just 34 percent (24-71) from the floor), including 5-of-26 from the arc. Wilcox (right) led all scorers in the contest with 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Turning in nine points each was Smothers and junior Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook) and Smothers also hauled down eight rebounds.
For the Yellow Jackets, who made all six of their three-pointers in the game in the first half and then went 9-for-11 from the foul line in the second half, guard Kenny Klase had 15 points in the victory. Scoring 13 apiece was Propst and Ellis and Propst made it a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Bethany will try to avoid the upset again on Wednesday, as they go to Geneva following their big win Saturday against Thiel. Tip-off in Beaver Falls, Pa., is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.