Bethany holds off Moravian to advance to ECAC Semifinals, 88-81

Bethany holds off Moravian to advance to ECAC Semifinals, 88-81

Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director

ERIE, Pa. (March 3) – Behind four players in double-figures, the Bison earned an 88-81 win over Moravian in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Quarterfinals Friday afternoon inside the Junker Center.

The Bethany College men's basketball team improves to 16-12 overall and will play in the ECAC Semifinals tomorrow, Saturday, March 4 against the either Carnegie Mellon or Stockton at 3 p.m. in Erie, Pennsylvania. Meanwhile the Greyhounds, members of the Landmark Conference and the top-seed in the field, conclude the season at 19-8 overall.

Junior guard Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) continued his steady play in the ECAC Tournament with a game-high 25 points to lead the Bison. Junior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) tallied 22 points, senior guard Antonio Rudolph (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) added 16 points and seven rebounds, while junior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) registered his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds in the win.

Both squads traded baskets in the opening minute, before the Bison established a 10-4 lead on a jumper by Davis with 16:06 remaining in the first half. Moravian pulled back within one point, 16-15, over the next five minutes, but a 9-2 run by the Bison pushed the Bison ahead 25-17 with just under eight minutes until halftime.

The Greyhounds connected on a trey to trail 25-20. The Green & White answered by closing out the final seven minutes of the first half on a 21-11 run to claim a 46-31 lead heading into the locker rooms. The Bison finished the opening period shooting 17-for-31 (55 percent) from the field, while limiting Moravian to a 13-for-39 (33 percent) performance, including 2-for-13 (15 percent) from beyond-the-arc.

Bethany improved its lead to a game-high 18, 49-31, on a three pointer by Williams to open the half, but eight-unanswered points by Moravian, sparked by full-court pressure, pulled the Greyhounds within 10 at 49-39 with 17:36 remaining in the game.

Each team traded buckets over the next seven minutes, as Bethany maintained its double-digit lead. The Greyhounds broke though with a basket that cut the Bison lead to nine, 59-50, with 9:31 left in the contest.

Jones drained a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 11, but Moravian converted back-to-back layups to pull within seven, 61-54, with just over eight minutes left in the game.

The Bison managed to rebuild the lead to 76-63 by outscoring the Greyhounds 15-9 over the next five minutes of the contest. Bethany wasn't comfortable for long, as a quick 10-4 spurt by Moravian brought the top seed back within seven, 80-73, with 1:33 remaining in regulation.

After Williams converted a pair of free throws, a three pointer by Moravian closed the gap to six, 82-76 in the final minute. Jones came through with two made shots at the charity stripe to maintain an eight-point Bison lead, but the Greyhounds kept firing and drew within five on another trey with 39 seconds left in the game.

Bethany held off the last-second rally attempt and put an exclamation point on the win with a Davis dunk to secure the victory and a berth in the ECAC Semifinals on Saturday.

The Green & White finished the game 32-for-59 (54 percent) from the field, compared to the 32-for-79 (40 percent) posted by Moravian.

Greyhound forward Brandon McGuire, the third-leading scorer in the Landmark Conference, led Moravian with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

The Bison will face the winner of the Carnegie Mellon/Stockton quarterfinal game, which will be played at 5 p.m. today, in the ECAC Semifinals tomorrow, Saturday, March 4 at 3 p.m.

Video and live stat links for the semifinal matchup will be posted to as soon as they are made available

Bison hold off Chatham, 71-70
February 15, 2017 Bison hold off Chatham, 71-70
Bison fall to Geneva, 74-66
January 25, 2017 Bison fall to Geneva, 74-66
Bethany edges Chatham, 64-61
January 18, 2017 Bethany edges Chatham, 64-61
Bethany edges Chatham, 64-61
January 18, 2017 Bethany edges Chatham, 64-61