Bethany surges past Geneva in PAC opener, 70-60

Bethany surges past Geneva in PAC opener, 70-60

Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director

BETHANY, W.Va. (Nov. 29) - The Bethany College men's basketball out-scored the Geneva by 12 points in the second half of its 70-60 win in the league opener Wednesday night at the Hummel Field House.

The Bison improve to 1-0 in Presidents' Athletic Confernce (PAC) play, 1-5 overall this season. Meanwhile, the Golden Tornadoes fall to 2-3 overall, 0-1 in the PAC.

Bethany sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John Central (W.Va.)) tallied a team-high 17 points and added nine rebounds in the win. Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while senior forward Christian Harris (Cleveland, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) chipped in 14 points on 6-of-8 from the field with seven boards. 

Geneva opened up a 16-6 lead through the first nine minutes of the game and eventually built a 13-point lead at 21-8 with 8:48 left in the first half. The Bison went on to out-score the Golden Tornadoes 18-to-7 over the next nine minutes to pull within two at 28-26 with 1:54 remaining in the first half, before the two teams traded baskets in the final two minutes to send Geneva into the break with a 30-28 lead.

Bethany claimed its first lead of the game in the opening 12 seconds of the second half on a three-point shot by sophomore Aiden Albert (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) and went on to build a 36-30 lead following a trey from Jones with 17:21 remaining in the game. Geneva eventually sliced the lead to two at 42-40 with under 12 minutes left in the contest, three pointers by junior Malik Ellis (Richmond, Va./Life Christian Academy) and freshman Trey Shifflett (York, Pa./William Penn) helped the Bison take a 48-42 in a two-minute span.

Geneva came within one possession five times over the next five minutes, including at 58-56 following a Jimmy Leichliter three pointer, but could not break through to reclaim the lead. Bethany put the game out of reach with 10-straight points, capped off with a steal and layup by Jones to open up a 66-56 lead with 2:48 remaining in the game. Bethany defensively held the Golden Tornadoes without a field goal for nearly five minutes, until a Leichliter trey with 36 seconds on the clock, allowing the Bison to open conference play with the victory.

After shooting 10-of-27 (37 percent) in the firs half, Bethany finished the second half 16-of-30 (53 percent) from the field, compared to the 10-of-29 (35 percent) posted by Geneva during that same span. The Bison finished with a slight 42-to-36 advantage on the glass.

Geneva's Ethan Moose tallied a game-high 25 points with nine rebounds to lead the Golden Tornadoes.

Bethany will host Thomas More on Saturday, December 2 for an opening tip at 3 p.m.