Dec. 15 - GRANVILLE, Ohio – After senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) hit a three-pointer at the buzzer of the first overtime, senior Jonas Ankrom (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) scored six of his 17 points in the second extra session to help the Bethany men’s basketball team to a 94-90 victory at Denison Tuesday night.
The win was the Bison’s fourth in a row and raised their record to 6-3, while the Big Red fell to 2-7.
Bethany trailed by five late in regulation, but drew even at 66-66 on a three by Ankrom and then a lay-up by junior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) with 1:09 to go. Both teams missed potential go-ahead triples in the final 36 seconds to push the contest to overtime. In the first OT period, BC trailed again by five but trimmed it to one until Denison’s Larry Farmer hit two foul shots with nine seconds to play. But the Bison drew even again when Lyonett cashed in a contested, off-balance three-pointer at the horn and the game continued into a second OT stanza tied at 78.
The new period saw Bethany take a five-point lead on threes sandwiched around a Big Red foul shot. This time it was Denison who rallied, as consecutive hoops by Dimonde Hale gave the hosts an 88-87 lead at the 1:44 mark. A free throw by Ankrom tied the game again and when he missed the second, Testa scored on a putback to put the Green and White on top for good. Although they hit just 13-of-28 from the foul line through the first 49 minutes, the Bison clinched the victory by going 4-for-4 in the final 22 seconds, as Testa and Ankrom both hit a pair to ice the triumph.
Although BC struggled from the foul line, they pulled down 50 boards, including 25 on the offensive end that led to 31 second-chance points, and they also poured in a season-best 13 triples.
Five different Bethany players recorded double digits in the win, paced by Lyonett, who swished 5-of-8 three-point attempts, and Ankrom with 17 apiece. Senior Joe Testa (Amilty, Pa./Trinity) turned in his second double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, the most boards since current Bison assistant coach Matt Drahos set a school-record with 26 in a win over Westminster in Jan. 2006.
Rounding out the top scorers for the Bison was freshman Damien Green (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) with a career-high 14 and Opalka with 13 points, as well as a career-high eight assists.
For Denison, Hale tossed in a game-best 23 markers and Larry Farmer had 14 points and 14 boards.
Bethany will get some time to enjoy the thrilling victory, as they are off until after the Christmas holiday. The Bison will be back on the floor Dec. 30 when they host Pitt-Greensburg at 7 p.m.