Jan. 27 - BETHANY, W.Va. - After falling behind by as many as 11 in the first half, the Bethany College men's basketball team rallied and pulled away in the second half to secure a 67-57 victory over visiting Waynesburg Wednesday night at Hummel Field House.
With the win, the Bison's fourth in a row, they improve to 13-5 overall and 6-2 in the PAC to remain in a tie for first place in the league with Grove City (12-7, 6-2). The Yellow Jackets fall to 2-14 and 0-7 in the conference.
Bethany came in riding a 15-game winning streak over Waynesburg, but the visitors were looking for the upset early. The Jackets took the lead out of the gate, and used a 11-1 run midway through the period to take a 24-13 on a Steven Iser jumper with 6:19 to go in the first half. The Bison answered back when freshman Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) canned a trey and then finished a traditional three-point play to highlight a 16-5 half-closing spurt to draw BC even at 29-29 heading into halftime.
The teams swapped the lead three times in the opening three minutes of the half before Bethany finally started to take control. Consecutive lay-ups by senior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) and junior Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) helped cap a 12-4 run that pushed BC in front 44-37. Waynesburg scored on back-to-back trips to trim the margin the three, but Testa stepped out to drain a three to extend Bethany's margin back out to 47-41 midway through the second half and the Jackets never moved closer than six the rest of the game.
The Bison were able to keep Waynesburg at bay by getting to the foul line, as they hit 16-of-22 from the foul line and finished the game shooting 73 percent (24-33) from the charity stripe. The Yellow Jackets were able to get to the line nine times and converted just two.
Leading Bethany's four scorers in double figures was Wilcox with 13 points and the 6-3 forward added five steals and three blocks. Testa battled for 12 points, while senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) and freshman James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) each totaled 11.
Pacing the Waynesburg effort was Jeff Young with 14 points and 11 boards.
The Bison will return to the floor Saturday with a road trip to Geneva for a 4 p.m. tip-off.