WILCOX SCORES 1,000TH, SETS STEALS RECORD IN BETHANY’S WIN OVER W&J
Feb. 4 - BETHANY, W.Va. – It was a milestone day for junior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township), who scored his 1,000th career point and broke the Bethany College all-time steals record, as the Bison men’s basketball team picked up an 81-49 victory over visiting Washington & Jefferson Saturday.
With the victory , Bethany (18-3, 10-2) is now just a half-game out of first place in the PAC after Thiel (14-6, 11-2) lost at third place Thomas More (15-7, 10-3) by a 73-63 score Saturday. Also lurking in the PAC mix is Saint Vincent, who beat Waynesburg Saturday to go to 16-5 and 9-3 in the league.
The day belonged to a pair of Bison juniors in Wilcox and Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski). Wilcox entered the game needing four points to reach 1,000 and two steals to set a new career record and it would be the thefts mark that fell first. He made steals on back-to-back Presidents’ possessions just before the 15-minute mark to reset that standard. His milestone point came during a big Bison run that gave the home team control of the contest, as he slipped through the lane for a lay-in with 9:02 to go in the first half to become the 23rd men’s player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
That basket was just a small part of Bethany’s 27-9 surge in the first half that turned a two-point W&J lead into a 38-22 Bison advantage. Pacific was instrumental in the run, as he cashed in four three-pointers and tallied 14 just during that stretch. By the end of the period, Pacific had dropped in 19 points and Bethany held a comfortable 42-27 lead.
The Bison defense continued to wreak havoc in the second half, as the Green and White forced 12 President miscues that led to 14 points. Although W&J (44.7) actually shot a higher percentage than Bethany (39.4) for the game, the Bison forced 23 turnovers for the afternoon and also dominated the glass by a 43-31 advantage, including 18 offensive boards.
Pacific was the game’s high scorer, as was 6-for-9 from the arc and tallied a career-high 28. Mabery and freshman Dylan Gravatt (Franklin, Pa./Rocky Grove) both notched 10 as well. As for Wilcox, he finished the day with nine points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. In addition to the other records, now with 1,005 points, 523 rebounds and 201 assists to his credit, he is just the second men’s player in Bison history to reach those marks, joining Mike Drahos (2002-06).
For W&J, Zach Bellhy, the leading scorer in the PAC, finished with 23 points.
Bethany will head back out on the road for a pair of games next week, beginning Wednesday with a trip to Waynesburg. Tip-off against the Yellow Jackets is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.