Dec. 14 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team set season-highs in shooting percentage (57) and points in a 92-65 victory over visiting Franciscan Tuesday night for their fifth victory in a row.
Senior point guard Ray Gardner (Detroit, Mich./ Livonia Clarenceville) buried a three in the opening minute, as the Bison (7-3) led from start to finish. The key stretch came just after the midway point of the period when BC used a 13-4 spurt, capped by a three and jumper by sophomore James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.), to expand a six-point spread to 33-18. Barton would finish the half with 10 points to pace Bethany to a 45-29 lead at intermission.
Bethany put the game away by continuing to knock down shots, as they hit 16-of-28 from the floor, and also forced 11 of the Barons’ (1-7) 19 turnovers after halftime. Another surge halfway through the stanza, this time a 12-0 spurt featuring five points from senior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview), pushed BC to a 34-point cushion at 78-44 and the Bison would coast to the triumph.
Five different Bethany players tallied double digits, led by 15 points from sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), who also notched six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) totaled 13 markers and a game-high eight boards and the double-figure scorers were rounded out by Barton with 12, senior Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) with 11 and Opalka with 10.
Franciscan’s offense was led by Thomas Kleinschnitz with 18 points and Zachary Miser with 15.
The Bison will complete their first semester schedule Friday with a home contest Friday night against Frostburg State at 7 p.m.