Jan. 25 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team (14-4, 7-2 PAC) used relentless defense and a balanced scoring attack to grab a hard-fought victory (79-67) over Presidents’ Athletic Conference foe Waynesburg University Saturday evening.
The hosts raced out to an 8-2 advantage with 15:39 remaining in the first half after Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis) converted on a driving layup.
The Yellow Jackets responded with an 7-3 run to trim the Bison lead to just two points (11-9) after Jason Propst converted on a tip-in at the 13:34 mark.
The next two minutes of the contest were all Bison, as they scored 10 consecutive points to push the lead back out to 12 points (21-9).
The run started with two consecutive put-backs by Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti). Then it was Lawrence Weldon (Baltimore, Md./Poly) and Joyce’s turn, as they both converted on layups. Capping the barrage off was Kevin Jackson (Baltimore, Md./Walbrook), who nailed a jumper from long range at the 11:47 mark to push the lead to 21-9.
Bethany would continue to be in control for the rest of the first half, entering intermission with a 13-point (41-28) lead.
The Bison defense was in lockdown mode in the first half of play, forcing 12 Yellow Jacket turnovers, which included 11 steals. They also used a strong first half of shooting, as they went 16-of-37 (.432) from the field and six-of-12 (.500) from behind the arc.
The second half saw Waynesburg go on a 14-5 run to trim the Bethany lead to just five points (46-41) with 16:21 left to play. Capping of the run was a layup by Byrum Louco.
Over the next four minutes of the game, the teams would trade multiple baskets, with the Bison clinging to a five-point (52-47) advantage with 12:30 remaining in the game.
That was as close as the Yellow Jackets would get, however, as the Bison would finish the game strong, winning by a score of 79-67.
The Bison defense once again showed why they are one of the best in the country, forcing 20 Yellow Jacket turnovers, including 18 steals. The steals mark fell just one shy of their season-high (19 vs. Westminster on Jan. 8).
Offensively all five starters finished in double figures. Addy led the way, as he finished with a double-double. He scored a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds. Weldon notched 16 points, while also tallying five assists and three steals, while backcourt teammate Joyce notched 13 points, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Jackson chipped in 16 points and grabbed eight boards and Tyrone Smothers (Baltimore, Md./Mergenthaler) notched 11 points and three steals.
The Bison are back on the hardwood on Wednesday, Jan. 29, as they play host to PAC foe Geneva College. Tipoff is slated for 8:00 p.m.