Nov. 21 - ERIE, Pa. – A potential game-tying three-pointer in the waning seconds was off the mark and the Bethany men’s basketball team dropped a 71-66 decision at Penn State Behrend Friday night on the opening night of the Lions’ Tournament in Erie, Pa.
The Bison (1-1) drop into the consolation game Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Nazareth (N.Y.) College, who lost 90-75 in Friday’s first game against St. Mary’s (Md.) College. Behrend (2-1) and St. Mary’s will square off in the tournament title game at 3 p.m.
The first 10 minutes saw five lead changes and three ties before BC used a three from senior Tyler Morando (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) and a putback off an offensive rebound by sophomore Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) to take their largest lead of the game at 22-17 with 8:47 left. Behrend controlled the rest of the half, out-scoring the Bison 21-6 to close out the period and take a 38-28 advantage into halftime.
The Lions’ Drew Seker had a perfect first half to lead the hosts, going 4-for-4 from the field, including 2-for-2 from the arc, and hitting all seven foul shots for 17 points. Bethany was led by senior Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) with nine markers in the opening period.
Bethany would use the three-pointer to claw back into the game in the second half. Senior Carey Palermo (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) and Morando each hit two and junior Joe Testa buried one, as BC cut the Lion lead to 50-48 with 12 minutes left and the Bison stayed within striking distance the rest of the way.
With under a minute to play, the teams exchanged free throws to leave the Bison deficit at 69-66 with 22 seconds to play. Bethany forced a turnover on the next Behrend possession and Petkovski put up a three to tie the game with 13 seconds to play. It missed, as did the lay-up off an offensive rebound and Behrend put the game away with two free throws to move into Saturday’s championship contest.
A balanced Bison attack was led by Morando, who scored 11 of his team-high 17 in the second half. Petkovski finished with 11 markers, six rebounds and five assists, while Palermo, Testa and sophomore Dakota Matz (Zanesville, Ohio) all scored nine each.
After his big first half, Seker was held scoreless in the second half for the Lions, but he was joined in double digits by Adam Kaiser with 16 and Adam Potter with 15.