March 8 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bison men’s basketball program saw their run at an Eastern College Athletic Conference regional championship come to an end, as Bethany was defeated, 78-59 by Juniata College on Saturday afternoon.
The Bison jumped out to a 5-2 lead on a jumper by Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook) with 17:26 to play in the first half. The Eagles would immediately respond, going on a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to jump out to an eight-point advantage (15-7).
Bethany would quickly cut into the lead getting back within four points (15-11) on two free throws by Lawrence Weldon (Baltimore, Md./Poly) with 12:46 remaining. However, the four-point margin would prove to be as close as the Bison would get.
With the Bison down four (20-16) following a three-point basket by Alan Harper (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic), the Eagles would nail back-to-back threes to push the advantage to ten points (26-16) with 6:53 remaining. The teams would exchange a few baskets over the waning minutes of the half, and the Bison would find themselves down 14 points (36-22) at the break.
Bethany would open the second half outscoring Juniata 7-2, and would cut the deficit to single digits (38-29) on a layup by Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) with 17:41 remaining in regulation. Juniata would keep the Bison at bay, however, and would extend the second-half lead to as many as 25 points, en route to handing the Bison just their sixth loss of the season.
Individually, the Bison were led by Joyce, who notched a game-high 18 points. He also added five rebounds and four steals to his totals. With the four pilfers, Joyce finished the campaign with 87 total steals, ranking him second all time in Bethany single-season history. Only Nick Wilcox in the 2011-12 season had more (93).
Joining Joyce with solid games were Weldon and Jackson. Jackson finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds, while Weldon added 13 points and four steals on the day.
The Bison finish the 2013-14 campaign with a record of 21-6, capturing their third consecutive 20-win season and a regular season Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championship. The appearance in the ECAC Southwest semifinal also marked the 10th-straight postseason appearance for the program, and the fifth under fifth-year head coach Andrew Sachs.