Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
GREENVILLE, Pa. (Feb. 4) – The Bethany College men's basketball team was defeated 89-83 at Thiel Saturday evening in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) matchup.
The Bison fall to 7-7 in the PAC, 12-9 overall, while the Tomcats improve to 12-7 this season, 8-6 in conference action.
Senior guard Antonio Rudolph (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) established a new career-high with 29 points, while junior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) matched his own career-best with 24 points to lead the Bison. Junior guard Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) also reached double-figures with 11 points in the loss.
The Bison opened the game on a 13-5 run over the first four minutes, but the lead quickly evaporated when Thiel rallied back to tie the game at 17 with 10:31 remaining in the first half. The two teams traded baskets, before the Tomcats built a 30-22 lead with five minutes until halftime. Bethany responded by out-scoring Thiel 16-8 down the stretch to take a 38-36 advantage into the locker rooms.
The host Tomcats took control of the contest in the opening eight minutes of the second half. Thiel scored 20-straight points to build a 56-38 lead, before a Jones jump shot finally ended the run.
Bethany did not leave the gym quietly, as the Bison out-scored Thiel 30-19 over the next 10 minutes to pull within seven, 75-68, with 2:48 left in the game. Unfortunately, the clock worked against the Bison, who were unable to pull any closer than six points in the loss.
Both teams frequently visiting the charity stripe. Bethany converted 20-of-24 (83 percent), while the Tomcats ended the contest 26-for-34 (77 percent) at the line.
Tomcats guard Tyreik Burton, the PAC's leading scorer, led Thiel with 27 points to lead them to the victory.
The Bison are back on the court on Wednesday, February 15 when they host Saint Vincent for a tip at 8 p.m.