Nov. 24 - BETHANY, W.Va. - Led by four players in double figures and a defense that held visiting Muskingum to just 28 percent shooting from the field, the Bethany men's basketball team claimed a 74-57 triumph over the Muskies Tuesday night in the Bison's home opener at Hummel Field House.
Bethany (2-2) was particularly stingy in the first half, as they outscored Muskingum (3-2) 24-7 over the final 10:38 of the period to expand a six-point lead into a 40-17 margin at intermission. Seven different Bison scored during the run, which started with a lay-up by senior Jay Lyonett (Weirton, W.Va./Brooke) and was capped by a lay-in by junior Nick Thomas (Uniontown, Pa./Laurel Highlands) just before the halftime buzzer. The Muskies hit just 2-of-11 attempts from the field during that stretch, while the Bison flexed their muscle inside, posting 24 points in the paint on their way to the big halftime advantage.
Big second halves from senior Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity), who had 12 after halftime, and Thomas, who notched 10, helped the Bison keep the margin above 20 for the majority of the stanza until the visitors made a surge late to make the final score closer. For the game, the Bison harassed the Muskies into making just 16-of-57 attempts from the floor and only 3-for-20 (15 percent) from the arc.
Testa led all scorers on the night with 16 markers and also grabbed six boards. Thomas came off the bench to chip with career-highs of 12 points and five assists, while Lyonett continued his recent hot shooting by hitting a trio of three-pointers and finishing with 11. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was freshman Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Twp.), who contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals, as the Bison had 10 different players hit the scorebook in their fourth straight victory in a home opener.
Bethany's Thanksgiving break will be a short one, as they return to the hardwood Saturday with a home date against Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) College at 3 p.m. in their final tune-up before opening PAC play next Wednesday at Westminster.