Jan. 3 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany men’s basketball team outscored Thiel 10-2 over the final three minutes to come away with a 77-70 victory over the Tomcats Saturday afternoon at Hummel Field House in PAC action.
The late surge by the Bison (6-5, 2-1) capped a see-saw affair which had 23 lead changes and 10 ties. Thiel (1-10, 0-3) took their final lead at 69-68 with 3:03 to go on a lay-up by Corey Chafee, but the Bison answered back on the other end on a lay-up by sophomore Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) to go back in front by a point. At the 1:03 mark, BC pushed their lead to 73-70 when junior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) corralled another offensive board and hit the putback.
The Tomcats moved back within one when Chafee canned a pair of foul shots with 32 ticks remaining, but those were answered by two free throws from freshman Lance Beckwith (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God Christian Academy). Following a Thiel turnover, Testa broke free for another lay-up to extend the lead to 75-70 and McFadden iced the triumph with seven seconds to play by sinking a pair from the charity stripe.
Bethany had a solid night at the foul line, swishing 23-of-30 attempts, which balanced out another tough night from the arc (4-20) and a 47-33 Thiel rebounding advantage. The Bison also forced 24 Tomcat turnovers, which were turned into 18 points on the other end.
Testa led the way for BC with 16 points and 12 rebounds, his third double-double of the year and seventh of his career. Beckwith came off the bench to deliver 15 points, his fourth straight in double digits, while sophomore Dakota Matz (Zanesville, Ohio) finished with 11 points and a career-high nine assists and senior Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) chipped in 10.
The Tomcats had three reach double figures, led by Nick Sefcsik with 17, Keebo Dowe with 13 points and 17 rebounds and Chafee with a dozen.Saturday’s game started the busiest stretch of the season for the Bison, who will play five games in the next 10 days. They return to action Monday with a home non-conference fray against Denison (Ohio) University at 7 p.m. and then head out on the road to take on Saint Vincent Wednesday at 8 p.m.