Jan. 11 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Despite a career-best 21 points by Lawrence Weldon (Baltimore, Md./Poly), the Bethany men’s basketball team (11-3, 5-1 PAC) was dealt a 83-77 loss at the hands of Saint Vincent College on Saturday afternoon.
The game opened in favor of the visitors, as the Bearcats ran out to a 14-8 lead over the first four minutes of the contest. Isaac Turner provided the spark for the Bearcats, scoring seven of Saint Vincent’s first 14 points, including a pair of free throws at the 15:46 mark, to give the Bearcats the six-point advantage.
It was there, however, that the Bison would respond. Bethany would embark on an 11-3 run, which included seven consecutive points by Weldon. His final basket in the run was a three-point bucket with 12:56 to play, which gave Bethany its first lead of the game (19-17).
The teams would continue to trade small runs and would find themselves knotted at 28-28 with 7:33 to play on a three-point basket by Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis). Saint Vincent would have an answer, however, and would go on its largest run of the game.
The Bearcats strung together a 10-0 run, getting a basket from five different players, to jump the advantage to double digits (38-28) with 3:45 to play. The Bearcats would continue to keep their distance and the Bison would find themselves down eight points (41-33) at the halftime break.
The Bison came roaring out of the locker room in the second half, sparking a 9-0 run to open the frame. Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) knocked down a three, which was then followed by three straight buckets by Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook). Jackson’s last basket, a mid-range jumper with 17:20 to play, cut the Bearcat lead to one point (41-40).
Tyrone Smothers (Baltimore, Md./Mergenthaler) would then give Bethany the lead on the next play, hitting a jumper of his own with 16:48 left to give the Bison the one-point advantage (42-41). However, that is the last lead that the Bison would see in the contest.
Holding a 42-41 advantage, the Bison would be outscored 11-2 over the next four minutes, as the Bearcats ran out to a 52-44 lead with 12:25 to play. The Bearcats would keep the Bison at bay over the next 12 minutes of the contest, allowing Bethany to get no closer than four points en route to handing the Bison their first PAC loss of the season, 83-77.
Offensively, the Bison were led by Weldon, who notched a career-high 21 points in the contest. He finished 8-of-16 from the field, which included shooting 3-of-4 from behind the three-point line. Joining Weldon in double figures were Joyce, Addy and Jackson. Joyce notched 19 points, while Addy finished with 13, shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Jackson added 10 points while Smothers totaled eight.
Over the course of the game, the Bearcats held the Bison to just 15 free throw attempts and outscored Bethany 29-6 from the charity stripe.
The Bison will be back in action on Monday, Jan. 13, as they will play host to Muskingum University. The non-conference tilt is scheduled for 7 p.m.