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BETHANY’S WILCOX NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR TO HIGHLIGHT ALL-PAC AWARDS
Feb. 28 - WEXFORD, Pa. – Bethany College junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) was named the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Player of the Year to highlight the announcement of the All-PAC teams Thursday from the conference office.
In addition to Wilcox, senior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) was also selected First Team All-PAC and junior guard Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) garnered Second Team distinction.
Led by their three all-conference selections, the Bison won their 14th PAC Championship and set a school-record with 25 victories this year. Bethany, who is ranked 20th in this week’s D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll, will open the NCAA Tournament Thursday with a road game at St. Mary’s (Md.). The winner of that game will advance to play at Virginia Wesleyan Saturday in the second round.
For Wilcox, this is his third All-PAC honor, but initial First Team award. He is also the seventh Bison player to earn the league’s Player of the Year award in the last 12 years and first since Brody Jackson in 2008. The 6-3 forward, who was a two-time PAC Player of the Week selection during the season, led the Bison in scoring with 15.2 points per game and led the conference with a Bethany single-season record 90 steals. Wilcox also ranked third in the PAC with 2.96 assists and fourth with 7.9 rebounds a game.
With still a full season to play, Wilcox has already reached unprecedented levels in the Bison record books. He is already the school’s all-time leader in steals with 221, ranks 17th with 1,126 career points, 11th with 584 rebounds and 11th with 222 assists. He is the first Bethany player in the 104-year history of the program to surpass 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals.
A pre-physical therapy major, Nick is the son of David and Sharon Lacey of Venetia, Pa.
Alexander, who snared one PAC Player of the Week award during the campaign, is the first Bethany player to pick up back-to-back First Team honors since Matt and Mike Drahos pulled in three straight from 2004-06. Despite missing three games due to injury, the 6-6 forward still led the PAC in blocked shots with 53, ranked second in rebounding with 8.1 boards per game and scored 10.3 markers a contest. He recorded eight double-doubles during the season and posted double-digit rebounding efforts in five of the last eight games.
After setting the Bethany single-season record with 67 rejections last year and with his 53 blocks this season, which is the third-highest total in one year at Bethany, Alexander has made a run at the school’s all-time mark. He has 120 blocks in just two years, which is only 12 away from the career standard of 132.
A sports communications major, British is the son of David Alexander and Marian Grigsby of Dayton, Ohio.
Mabery scooped up Second Team accolades for his first career All-PAC award. He averaged 13.4 points per game, good for 10th in the PAC, as well as 2.63 steals (second) and 2.74 assists (fifth) while shooting 84.3 percent from the foul line (third). The 5-11 point guard, who earned PAC Player of the Week once, posted 11 games with 15 or more points, highlighted by a 31-point outburst against Illinois Wesleyan Dec. 29, and his 71 steals is the fifth-most by a Bison in one season.
Like Alexander, Mabery needed just two seasons to put his name among the school’s all-time leaders in a category. Already the school’s single-game record holder for steals after pilfering 12 in a win at Waynesburg last year, he has piled up 154 steals in his two seasons. That is good enough to rank fifth at Bethany behind only Wilcox, Chris Stephens (196), James Paige (178) and Scott Johnson (175).
A psychology major, Reece is the son of Robin Mabery of Natrona Heights, Pa.