BISON LOOKING FOR 2-0 START IN PAC PLAY SATURDAY AT WAYNESBURG
Dec. 4 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany men’s basketball team will be gunning to stay unbeaten early in PAC play Saturday when they go to Waynesburg to take on the Yellow Jackets in a 3:30 p.m. start.
Bethany will also be trying to continue their string of dominance over the Yellow Jackets while improving to 2-0 in the conference. In their PAC lidlifter Wednesday, BC rolled to a 32-point lead in the second half and coasted to an 85-67 win at Westminster. Five players scored in double digits for Bethany, led by freshman Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Twp.) with 16 and junior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) and freshman Damien Green (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) each tallied 12.
The Westminster win continued the Bison’s early season domination on the boards. They posted a 39-32 rebounding margin against the Titans, including 14 offensive caroms, and sit atop the PAC rankings in rebounding margin (+9.3) and offensive rebounds (16.5). Bethany senior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity), who moved into 11th place Wednesday on the school’s all-time rebounding list with 569, leads the conference with 7.8 boards per game, while Wilcox is third at 6.8.
The match-up with the Bison will not only serve as the initial PAC game of the year for Waynesburg (0-5), it will also be their first time on the floor since a 63-51 loss to Oberlin on Nov. 24. Although the Yellow Jackets committed just eight turnovers in the setback, they were out-rebounded 42-25 and went just 5-for-9 from the foul line, while Oberlin was 26-for-32. Hitting a trio of three-pointers for Waynesburg and finishing with 16 points was Steven Iser.
With 12.4 points per game, Iser is the leading scorer for Waynesburg, who is ranked last in the PAC with 55.2 points per game and have tallied more than 60 points just once. The Yellow Jackets can be a stingy group defensively, as they are first in the circuit in field goal percentage defense (37.0) and second in points allowed (64.6) and three-point percentage defense (27.1).
The series between the programs, which is led by BC 57-38, has been decidedly in Bethany’s favor recently, as the Green and White have won 14 consecutive games over the Yellow Jackets dating back to 2003. Last year, the Bison held off Waynesburg for a 78-76 victory at home and in the rematch, BC recovered from a 15-0 Jackets run to open the game to claim a 77-67 triumph. Bethany’s last seven trips to Waynesburg have resulted in victories by an average of 18.4 points.