March 6 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Seeking their first Eastern College Athletic Conference Southwest Championship crown, the Bison men’s basketball program will play host to the ECAC Regional semifinals on Saturday, March 8. The Bison will open play against Juniata with Hood and Waynesburg squaring off in the other semifinal matchup.
The Bison, who are making their tenth-straight appearance in post-season play, captured the regular season championship in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference finishing the campaign with a 21-4 record, including a 14-2 mark in conference. Bethany then came up short in the PAC playoffs, dropping a 60-58 decision to Geneva.
Over the course of the regular season, Bethany put together two winning streaks of at least eight games. They opened the 2013-14 campaign on a nine-game streak, and closed the regular season winning their final eight games.
Bethany finished the campaign as one of the most efficient defenses in the PAC, ranking first in opponents’ points per game, giving up just 65.6 points per contest. The Bison hung their hats on their ability to create turnovers, ranking first in all of Division-III in steals per contest (12.3).
It wasn’t just defense for the Bison, however, as four different players averaged double figures over the course of the season, leading Bethany to ranking third in the conference in points per game (76.2). The Green & White also ranked second in scoring margin (+10.7) and led the conference in turnover margin (+5.77) as well as offensive rebounds per game (12.9).
Individually, the Bison were led by Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) and Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti), who both earned First-Team All-PAC honors. Joyce ranks first on the team points per game (16.8) and fourth in all of Division-III in steals per contest (3.2). He scored in double figures in 24 of his 26 games this season, including eclipsing the 30-point mark on two different occasions.
Addy played solid for the Bison all season, ranking sixth in the conference in rebounds per game (6.4) while also scoring 11.7 points. He also ranked in the top ten in the conference in steals per game (1.7), three point percentage (.430) and three-point field goals made (52).
Bethany, who earned the #1 seed in the ECAC tournament, will now host #4 Juniata who defeated #5 Alfred University 92-76 on Wednesday. The Eagles were led in the contest by a 32-point effort from senior Brian Scholly. Kevin Stapleton added 15 points in the game, while Lucas Mellott finished with 10.
The Eagles come into the contest with a 16-10 record, having posted a 15-10 mark (6-8 in Landmark Conference play) during the regular season. Juniata is led by a cast of seven seniors, including guard Jeremy Hays, who ranked sixth in the Landmark Conference in points per game (15.3). Hays, also a solid distributor, ranked second in the conference in assists per game (5.4) and led the Landmark in assist/turnover ratio (+2.5).
The Bison and Eagles will square off in the first semifinal which will be held at 5:30 p.m. #2 Hood and #3 Waynesburg will then meet in the other semifinal match held at 7:30 p.m. The winners of the two contests will meet in the ECAC Southwest Regional Championships on Sunday, March 9, at 2 p.m.