Dec. 29 – CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Bethany men’s basketball team (9-1) fell for the first time this season, dropping a 77-66 decision at the hands of Penn State Behrend on Sunday at the Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament hosted by Case Western Reserve University.
The Bison never led in the contest, as Penn State Behrend used three consecutive three-point baskets to open the contest in the midst of an 11-4 run over the first three minutes.
Bethany would get as close as two points (13-11) on a layup by Lawrence Weldon (Baltimore, Md./Poly) with 15:15 to play, but the Lions would counter with a 17-6 run to open a 13-point advantage (30-17) with 5:42 left in the first half.
The Bison would cut the lead to single digits before the end of the half, but would find themselves down by nine (40-31) at the break.
In the second half, the Bison saw their deficit grow to 13 points (44-31) before starting their comeback. Down 46-33 with 16:57 to play in the contest, Bethany went on a 14-3 run which spanned the next 5:30 of the game to cut the Lion advantage to two (49-47) with 11:31 to play. Weldon and Ramel Young (Walterboro, S.C./Estill) combined for 10 points during the run, which pulled the Bison within a bucket.
The Bison would stay within just a basket over the next four minutes, but were unable to tie the game, as Penn State Behrend would answer every Bethany basket with one of their own. With the Bison still down just two (55-53) with 7:45 to play in the game, the Lions would counter with a 15-3 run to take a 17-point advantage (73-56) and would go on to hand Bethany its first loss of the season.
Offensively, the Bison were led by a 14-point performance from Weldon, who finished the game shooting 7-of-13 from the field. He also added four assists and four steals to his totals. Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook) finished with 12 points, while Young added 11 off the bench.
Over the span of the contest, the Bison were outscored 20-6 at the free throw line. They were also outrebounded for just the first time this season, as Penn State Behrend held a 38-28 advantage on the glass.
The Bison will be back in action on Monday, Dec. 30, as they will play the loser of Case Western Reserve and Heidelberg University in the consolation match of the tournament. The contest is slated for a 2 p.m. tip.