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Dec. 17 - BETHANY, W.Va. – A 16-point second-half lead was slashed to one in the closing seconds, but the Bethany College men’s basketball team was able to hold off Frostburg State for a 75-72 victory at Hummel Field House Friday night.

The victory gave the Bison (8-3) a six-game winning streak heading into the holiday break, which they can enjoy until returning to the court Jan. 3 with a road game at Thiel. The Bobcats had their record evened at 5-5.

Bethany never trailed in the game, as they used threes from sophomores Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) and Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) to cap a 12-2 run to open the contest. Frostburg stayed within striking distance of BC until the home team used another surge to close the half. Back-to-back dunks by junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) highlighted a 12-5 run that gave the Bison a 46-32 lead at the break.

The teams had similar first half numbers, with Bethany shooting 54 percent and Frostburg hitting 52 percent of their field goal attempts, but the difference was in the Bison turning 15 FSU turnovers into 22 points and the Green and White holding a 10-2 advantage in second-chance points.

The Bobcats managed to get within nine at 61-52 midway through the second half, but seven consecutive points from Bethany extended the cushion back to a comfortable 68-52 spread with 7:43 to play. Frostburg made things very interesting down the stretch, as they posted a 20-5 run behind three-pointers from Steven Ogg, Mac Minturn and Brian Anderson and when Ellis Hartridge scored a lay-up with 17 seconds left, FSU was within one at 73-72.

Following a quick foul, the Bison added two huge insurance points on a pair of free throws by Mabery with 14 ticks showing. The Bobcats missed a three in the final seconds, but were fouled on the offensive rebound. Ogg stepped to the line needing to hit the first attempt, but it was off the mark, as was the second, and Bethany was able to hang on for the victory.

Mabery’s clutch free throws not only helped secure the win but also gave him a team-leading 17 points. Alexander posted 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks and sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) recorded 12 markers and five rebounds despite fouling out.

With 21 points and eight rebounds, Hartidge recorded a huge game off the bench for Frostburg, who shot just 38 percent (9-24) from the foul line in the loss.