Feb. 8 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball program (18-4, 11-2 PAC) received a 23-point game from junior Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and a double-double from senior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) to help propel the Bison to a 71-62 win over Thiel College on Saturday.
The Bison opened the contest on a 9-2 run over the first 2:19 of the first stanza. After a three-point basket by Addy broke a 2-2 tie, Joyce followed with back-to-back layups to extend the advantage to seven points (9-2) with 17:41 remaining.
After the Tomcats cut the deficit to 11-8, Addy knocked in two-consecutive three-point baskets. The latter of the two extended the Bison lead to nine points (17-8) with 13:14 to play in the first half. Bethany would then see the advantage swell to double figures (19-8) before Thiel was able to mount a comeback.
In a span of just 2:19, Thiel embarked on a 10-0 run which cut the lead to just one point (19-18) with 9:41 to play. Khari Bess sparked the run with back-to-back three-point buckets.
The Bison and Tomcats would continue to trade baskets over the next six minutes, with Bethany holding on to a slim one-point advantage (28-27) with 3:24 left before the half. The Tomcats would reclaim the lead on a jumper by Charlie Thomas and would hold a two-point advantage (31-29) over the Bison heading into the halftime break.
In the second stanza, the Tomcats continued to cling to a small lead, until a jumper by Tyrone Smothers (Baltimore, Md./Mergenthaler) knotted the game at 37-37 with 16:09 remaining in the contest.
The Bison would make their biggest push of the contest over the next nine minutes, as they put together a 21-7 run to open a 14-point lead (58-44) with 7:10 to play. In the run, all five starters scored at least one basket. Addy dropped eight points, including two of his five three pointers. Smothers notched six tallies in the run, including the layup which staked the Bison to the 14-point advantage.
Bethany would keep the Tomcats at bay over the final seven minutes of the contest, allowing Thiel to get no closer than eight points (67-59) en route to the nine-point conference victory.
The Bison were led in the game by Joyce’s sixth 20+-point performance of the season, as he finished with a game-high 23. It marked the second-consecutive game that Joyce has scored at least 20 points.
Joining Joyce in leading the Bison was Addy, who registered his fourth double-double of the season collecting 18 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the fifth time in the last six games that Addy has notched double figures in scoring while matching his season high in made three-point baskets with five.
For the game, the Bison totaled 14 steals while forcing the Tomcats into 18 turnovers. It marked the 17th time this year that Bethany has notched at least 10 steals in a game. Inversely, their opponents have not accomplished the feat once this season.
Bethany will back in action on Saturday, Feb. 15, as the Bison travel to Latrobe, Pa. for a conference battle with Saint Vincent College. The contest is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.