Dec. 1 -GROVE CITY, Pa. – Senior Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) tied the game on a putback with two seconds left in regulation and then scored six in the extra period, as the Bethany College men’s basketball team pulled out an 87-83 overtime victory at Grove City Saturday afternoon.
It looked like the Bison wouldn’t need overtime to get the win in this one, as a big run early in the second half had the Green and White out to a commanding lead. With the score tied at 46 three minutes after halftime, Bethany went on a 19-4 run. Senior James Barton (right - Bethel Park, Pa.) scored eight straight and 10 overall during the charge and junior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) sank a pair of threes to lift BC to a 65-50 advantage with 11:30 to go.
The Wolverines (0-5, 0-2) responded with 11 straight points to trim the deficit down to four. Grove City continued to push and took its first lead of the game at 70-69 on a Mitch Marmelstein foul shot with 3:47 to play. After the teams swapped buckets, the hosts lead went to 73-71 on a free throw with 33 seconds left.
A Barton jumper evened the score at 73 with 20 ticks on the clock, but a BC foul put Grove City’s Christian Durbin at the line and he converted both attempts to put his team in front by a pair with 17 seconds left. Following a Bison timeout, a Bethany three-point try was off the mark, but Mabery grabbed the board and hit a lay-up with two seconds left to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, the teams exchanged four points apiece through the first three minutes. Mabery gave Bethany the lead for good on a lay-in with 1:36 to play and following a steal by senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), the Bethany point guard got to the rim again for another score which gave BC an 83-79 cushion. The Green and White then used two free throws each from senior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) and Wilcox in the final 20 seconds to clinch the win and move to 2-0 in the PAC.
The second half ended up looking similar to the first half of the game. Back-to-back threes from junior Tyrone Smothers (Baltimore, Md./Merganthaler) and Addy had the Bison on top 29-19, but the Wolverines answered back, as Marmelstein scored 15 in the opening half and Bethany’s lead was only 40-38 at halftime.
The late heroics from Mabery (right) gave him a team-leading 21 markers in the victory and he also dished out four assists. Wilcox turned in his usual good line with 18 points, a team-best seven boards and three steals, while Barton went over 900 career points (914) with 15 and Pacific tallied 10 points.
Four Wolverines finished the day in double figures, with Marmelstein firing in 26 to lead all scorers. Durbin and Mark Pilarski had 12 each and J.T. Schwartz scored 10 before fouling out.
Bethany will go for its third straight win to open conference play when it hosts Geneva on Wednesday night at 8 p.m.