Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
ERIE, Pa. (March 4) – The Bethany men's basketball team's season came to an end with an 83-63 loss to Stockton in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament Semifinals Saturday afternoon at the Junker Center.
The Bison finish the year 17-13 overall, while the Ospreys, members of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) improve to 17-11 this season and advance to the ECAC Final on Sunday.
Junior guard Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) finished with a game-high 19 points in the loss. He averaged 21.3 ppg. in the three ECAC Tournament contests. Following the ECAC Final, Williams was named to the ECAC All-Tournament Team.
Senior guard Antonio Rudolph (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) added 13 points in his finals game as a Bison. The two-time All-Presidents' Athletic Conference first team selection finishes his Bethany career with 861 points, 528 rebounds, 289 assists, and 159 steals. He ranks fifth all-time in assists and seventh all-time in steals in Bethany College history.
Senior forward Javonte' Trujillo (Aurora, Colo./Grandview), also playing in his final game, added eight points, six rebounds and three assists in the loss.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the early minutes of the game. A layup by senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) with 14:23 left in the first half knotted the game at 12-12. After the Ospreys scored five-straight to take a 17-12 lead, the Bison stormed back with five-unanswered of their own to even the score again with just over 12 minutes to play in the opening period.
The Bison trailed 23-22 with 10 minutes left in the first half when Stockton began to build a sizeable margin. Stockton went on a 20-4 run over the next eight minutes to take a 43-26 lead with the game nearing the two-minute mark of the first half. Bethany responded with back-to-back buckets to trim the lead to 13, 43-30, heading into the locker rooms.
The Ospreys rebuilt their lead to 17, 50-33, three minutes into the second half, but the Bison responded with 11-unanswered points to draw back within single-digits at 50-44 with just over 14 minutes remaining in regulation.
Both teams had trouble finishing possessions over the next five minutes. After a tip-in by Trujillo made the score 56-48 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Ospreys out-scored the Bison 17-8 over the next six minutes to take a 73-56 lead with 3:43 left in the contest.
Stockton continued to build its lead in the closing minutes and made all eight of its free-throw attempts in the final two minutes to secure its spot in the championship game.
Bethany finished the game 23-for-61 (38 percent) from the field, compared to the Ospreys who were 28-for-57 (49 percent), including 12-for-27 (44 percent) from long range.
Stockton's Marcus Harmon led for Ospreys in double-figures with 17 points, including 5-for-7 from beyond-the-arc.