Bison Look to Keep Momentum Saturday Against Grove City
Jan. 25 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After snapping out of a two-game slide with one of its top shooting performances of the season, the Bethany College men’s basketball team will try to build off that momentum when it hosts Grove City Saturday at 4 p.m.
The Bison improved to 7-3 in the conference Wednesday night with an impressive 90-49 victory at Geneva. After making just nine three-pointers in losses to Thomas More and Waynesburg, BC went 14-for-29 from the arc in the victory. Senior Reece Mabery (right - Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) knocked down four of those trifectas and scored a team-best 18 points, while junior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) had 14 and junior Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook) chipped in 10 off the bench.
In addition to his big scoring performance, Mabery also made three steals. That gives him 198 for his career to move past Chris Stephens for second place on the all-time thefts list at BC behind only senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), who has 290. Mabery ranks second in the conference this season with 2.6 steals per game, trailing only Wilcox (3.7), and is sixth in the circuit with a BC-leading 2.7 assists a game.
It was a big performance from Mabery that lifted Bethany to a thrilling victory at Grove City in the first meetings between the teams Dec. 1st. The Bison led by 15 with 11:30 to play, but a furious Wolverine rally left the Green and White down by two in the closing seconds. An offensive rebound and putback by Mabery with two seconds to go sent the game to overtime and the senior guard scored six more in the extra period to give Bethany an 87-83 triumph. Mabery finished the game with a season-high 21 points, while Wilcox (right) contributed 18 markers, seven rebounds and three steals. Leading Grove City in the game was guard Mitch Marmelstein with 26 points.
Although the Wolverines are 6-12 overall, with a 3-7 record in the PAC, Grove City has posted a 4-3 mark on the road this year. They have dropped two in a row coming into Saturday, both coming at home, including a 69-59 loss to Waynesburg Wednesday. The game was deadlocked at 30-30 at halftime, but Waynesburg shot 50 percent from the floor and 93 percent from the foul line in the second half to take control. The Wolverine offense was led by sophomore point guard J.T. Schwartz with 13 points and Marmelstein with 11.
Grove City ranks ninth in the PAC in both scoring offense (62.6) and free throw percentage (61.7) entering the game with Bethany. However, the Wolverines are allowing teams to hit just 39.8 percent of their shot attempts, making them the top team in the league in that category. Marmelstein is one of the top scorers in the conference with 14.3 points per game, good for eighth in the PAC. He has done very well against the Bison in games at home, averaging 25 points in two meetings, but in last season’s contest at Bethany, a game won by BC 78-57, he was limited to just eight points. Schwartz is another offensive threat with 11.1 points per game this season and he is shooting 41.2 percent from the arc.