Jan. 7 - LATROBE, Pa. – The Bethany men’s basketball team (7-6) was tied with Saint Vincent 54-54 with 6:24 to play, but the Bearcats (11-2) outscored the Bison 21-5 the rest of the way for a 75-59 victory Wednesday night.
Saint Vincent was staked out to a 17-11 lead midway through the first half, but three-pointers from seniors Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) and Tyler Morando (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) sparked an 8-0 run and the rest of the half went back-and-forth. A Saint Vincent foul as the horn sounded sent freshman Lance Beckwith (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God Christian Academy) to the line, where he sank both free throws to give the Bison a 30-28 lead at the break.
Each team made small runs through the early part of the second half, but the Bison took their biggest lead of the night at 48-43 following a jumper from sophomore Ryan McFadden (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) and consecutive hoops from Beckwith. After hitting just 3-of-16 from the arc in the first half, SVC heated up from the arc to get back into the game, as Joey Butler drained three treys during an 11-3 run that put the hosts in front 54-51. Two possessions after Butler’s last three of the spurt, Morando drained a triple to knot the count at 54-54 at the 6:24 mark.
From there, the Bearcats seized control by ripping off 13 consecutive points. Billy Bains had a three-point play and a trifecta to start the run and Butler capped it with his fifth three-pointer of the game and Saint Vincent cruised to the victory to run their home winning streak to 21. After struggling from deep in the opening stanza, SVC recovered to knock down 8-for-12 from the arc in the second half, while Bethany was just 2-for-8 from three-point territory after halftime.
Pacing the Bison offensively was Petkovski with 17 points and eight rebounds. Joining him in double figures was sophomore Dakota Matz (Zanesville, Ohio) with 12 and freshman Jimmy Reeves (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) with 11.
A transfer from Division I Mount St. Mary’s who is now in his second season at Saint Vincent, Butler had a huge game. He totaled 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Bains finished with 17 markers and Mike Medved totaled 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Bethany returns to the floor Saturday with a home contest against Grove City. The Wolverines (7-4, 2-1) dropped into a tie with the Bison for second place in the PAC Wednesday following an 80-48 setback at Thomas More. Tip-off between BC and Grove City is scheduled for 4 p.m.