BISON WIN STREAK AT FOUR FOLLOWING 76-62 WIN AT GENEVA
Dec. 11 - BEAVER FALLS, Pa. –The Bethany College men’s basketball team shot 54 percent (14-26) in the second half, including 67 percent (6-9) from the arc, to break away from Geneva for a 76-62 victory Saturday night.
The win was the Bison’s fourth in a row and raised their record to 6-3, while the Golden Tornadoes dropped to 6-3 with the loss.
Bethany trailed 31-25 with 3:50 to go in the first half when sophomore Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) hit a three to start an 11-2 run. Junior British Alexander (Dayton, Ohio/Trotwood Madison) scored two buckets during the surge, including a lay-in to make it 36-33, but a trey from Geneva’s Dave Phillips just before the halftime horn evened the score at 36 going into intermission.
The game went back-and-forth in the early stages of the second half with two lead changes and five ties in the first seven minutes of the period. With the score tied at 52, the game started to turn when sophomore Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) followed his three-pointer with a jumper. Those scores were followed by a trifecta from senior Dustin Opalka (Cortland, Ohio/Lakeview) and six consecutive points from sophomore Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) in a 14-0 surge that gave BC a 66-52 lead with 6:51 to play.
The Golden Tornadoes responded with five straight points to get within nine, but it was the last time the Bethany lead was single digits. Opalka, who had a perfect night from the arc, buried another three to push the margin back to 12 and a couple minutes later, sophomore James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) delivered the dagger with a three from the right corner as the shot clock expired with two minutes to play and the Bison went on to claim their third straight victory over Geneva.
Leading the way for BC was Alexander with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals, while Wilcox amassed 18 markers, six assists and six rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Opalka led the Bethany sharp-shooters, as he hit all four shots from deep to record 14 points.
Geneva’s Bryan Hill led three scorers in double figures with 13 points, which was followed by Richard Colick with 12 and Phillips with 11.
The Bison are back home for a pair of non-conference games next week, beginning Tuesday with a match-up against Franciscan at 7 p.m.