BISON DEFEATED BY #18 JOHN CARROLL SATURDAY IN JCU TOURNAMENT
Nov. 27 - UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Despite a career-high 27 points from sophomore James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.), the Bethany College men’s basketball team came up short in an upset bid of #18 John Carroll, as the Blue Streaks knocked off the Bison 90-85 in the first round of JCU’s John Steadman Classic Saturday.
The defeat drops BC (2-3) into the consolation game on Sunday against Case Western Reserve, who suffered an 86-69 loss to Olivet (Mich.) College in the other first round game. Tip-off for that match-up will be at 1 p.m., while the John Carroll/Olivet championship game will begin at 3 p.m.
Bethany fell behind early, as the Blue Streaks started the game with an 18-9 spurt. Barton’s huge game started with a three to trim the JCU advantage down to six and the sophomore guard was red-hot the rest of the half. Another Barton triple with five minutes left in the half put BC in front and sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) hit for six points in the final four minutes of the period to help the Bison construct a 39-36 lead at halftime.
Free throws from senior Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) and junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) pushed the Green and White lead to 43-39 in the first two minutes of the second half. The Blue Streaks answered with an 11-2 run to reclaim the lead, which they would not relinquish, although Bethany would hang around until the very end.
Barton cashed in another trifecta to cut the JCU lead to 60-58 with 12 minutes remaining, but the hosts put together a 13-3 surge to build their largest lead of the game at 73-61 with 8:37 to play. This time it was Bethany’s turn for a run, as McFadden had two buckets, Wilcox scored a pair of hoops and Barton buried two more three-pointers, including one to cap a 14-3 blitz to slice the Blue Streaks margin to 76-75 with 3:48 left.
Two more scores by Barton kept Bethany within striking distance, but John Carroll’s Joey Meyer drilled a three with 53 seconds left and after Bison sophomore Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) answered with a trey with nine seconds to play, Meyer cemented the JCU victory with a pair of foul shots with six ticks left. The Bison were denied a second consecutive upset of John Carroll after they took out the Blue Streaks 85-63 at home last year.
The Bison were paced by a pair of career efforts off the bench. Barton made 11-of-17 from the floor, including 5-of-10 from the arc, on his way to 27 points, while Pacific tossed in a career-best 15. Wilcox posted a double-double with 14 markers and 10 boards before fouling out and McFadden hit for 10 in the loss.
All five of John Carroll’s starters scored in double digits, led by Meyer with 23 and Michael Hartnett with 17.