Jan. 12 -BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College men’s basketball team followed up its worst shooting performance of the season Monday night with by far its best, as the Bison hit 59 percent from the floor and sank 15 three-pointers in scoring a decisive 109-72 victory over visiting Washington & Jefferson Saturday.
After making just 32 percent of their shots in a loss Monday night at Carnegie Mellon, BC fell into a hole early against the Presidents. The visitors scored the first five points of the game and later used a quick 6-0 spurt to build a 16-8 advantage, which prompted a 30-second timeout from the Bison.
Following the stoppage, Bethany heated up quickly to turn the tide in the game. Junior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) led the charge, as he sank a three to spark a string of seven straight points to get the Bison back within one. Later in the half with after Addy put BC in front with a jumper and trey, the Presidents’ Zach Bellhy hit two free throws to tie the score at 34 with 5:48 left.
Those would the final points for W&J for the rest of the half, as Bethany closed the period with an avalanche of 18 straight points. Senior Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands) started it with five in a row and later scored another lay-up, while senior James Barton (right - Bethel Park, Pa.) had five during that stretch to lift BC to a 52-34 halftime lead. The Bison shot a remarkable 67 percent (20-30) from the floor, including 7-of-10 from the arc. Addy was the highlight, as his 18 points by halftime had already set his career-high.
The second half was more of the same for the Green and White. Senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had a steal and dunk, followed by a triple to complete a 13-4 spurt to open the second half that swelled the Bethany lead to 65-38. The Bison offense continued to click on all cylinders, as they would score 57 points following halftime and 12 different players scored in Bethany’s largest PAC victory since a 102-61 triumph over Westminster in Jan., 2008. The 15 three-pointers by the team were their highest since sinking 16 in a victory over Westminster in Jan., 2010.
Addy (right) continued his stellar performance in the second half. By the time the game was over, he had put up 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. The 6-5 forward was 7-for-9 from the arc, the best shooting percentage (77.8) from deep since Brody Jackson had the same line on Jan. 24, 2007 at Saint Vincent.
Three other Bison notched double figures, led by Barton with 20, while Wilcox totaled 15 points to go along with nine rebounds and six steals and Mabery tallied all 11 of his points in the big first half.
For W&J, brothers Nate (23 points) and Zach (22) Bellhy were the top scorers, while Ben Cecchini hit for 11.
The Bethany win, coupled with Thomas More’s 64-59 victory over Saint Vincent, means all three teams are now tied atop the PAC standings with 6-1 records. The time is sure to be broken one way Wednesday night when Thomas More makes the trip to Bethany for an 8 p.m. tip-off. It will be the first meeting between the schools since BC won a 58-53 contest last year over the Saints in the PAC Tournament Championship game.