Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
LANCASTER, Pa. (Nov. 17) - The Bison dropped their second close game of the season in a 72-70 loss at Franklin & Marshall in an opening round game of the William Marshall Tournament Friday night.
The loss drops the Bethany College men's basketball team to 0-2 overall, while the Diplomats improve to 2-0 this season.
Sophomore Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./Saint John Central (Ohio)) led the Bison with team-highs of 24 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Senior Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) chipped in 10 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Franklin & Marshall broke a tie score with a three-pointer to take a 70-67 lead with 2:38 remaining in the game. Bethany knotted the game back up with a jumper from the top of the key by senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) and a free-throw by senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) with 1:31 left on the clock.
The Diplomats scored on the ensuing possession and forced a Bison turnover, but a block on a breakaway dunk attempt by senior Christian Harris (Cleveland, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) kept Bethany within one possession. Franklin & Marshall would eventually turnover the ball on a shot-clock violation with nine seconds remaining to allow the Bison a chance to tie or take the lead. Unfortunately, Bethany had trouble in-bounding the ball following a timeout and did not get a shot attempt off, allowing the Diplomats to escape with the win.
Bethany finished the night 23-of-26 (89 percent) from the charity stripe, compared to the 5-of-10 posted by Franklin & Marshall. The Diplomats held a 41-to-30 advantage on the glass and a 36-to-24 edge in points in the paint. The Bison never held the lead at any point in the contest, forcing a tie score four times.
Franklin & Marshall jumped out to a 10-1 lead over the first four minutes of the game. The Diplomats extended their lead to 12, 17-5, with 13:25 left in the first half, before the Bison mounted a comeback. Bethany out-scored Franklin & Marshall 23-9 over the next 10 minutes to tie the game at 28-28 with 4:26 until halftime. Despite the run, the Diplomats did not allow the Bison to take the lead and entered halftime with a 37-31 lead.
Franklin and Marshall built its second half lead to as many as 11 points at 58-47 with 11:28 left in the game. Bethany came back over the next four minutes with a 16-5 run to even the score at 63-63, but the Diplomats did not relinquish the lead.
Bethany will play Lancaster Bible in the consolation game of the William Marshall Tournament tomorrow, Saturday November 17 at 5:30 p.m.