Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Dec. 6) - The Bethany College men's basketball team fought off a late rally to claim a 73-65 win at Waynesburg Wednesday night at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest.
The win propels the Bison to the top of the PAC standings at 3-0, 3-5 overall. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets fall to 1-5 overall, 1-2 in conference play.
Senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) led the way with 18 points and five rebounds in the win. Sophomore Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) registered a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while senior Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) added 12 points for the Bison.
The teams were tied at 7-7 through the first four minutes of the game, before the Bison opened up a 19-11 lead at the 11:42-mark of the first half with a 14-4 run. Waynesburg got as close as six at 19-13, but the Bison out-scored the Yellow Jackets 10-to-1 over the next five minutes, culminating with a vicious breakaway dunk and foul by junior guard Malik Ellis (Richmond, Va./Life Christian Academy), that pushed the Bison to a 31-16 lead with 3:05 remaining in the first half. Bethany eventually would take a 34-21 lead into halftime.
Waynesburg came out of the locker rooms on a 7-3 run to pull within single-digits at 37-28 with 17:40 left in the game. The Bison came back with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes to rebuild their lead to 15, 43-28, with 15:22 remaining in regulation.
The Yellow Jackets rallied with its best stretch of the night, out-scoring Bethany 29-to-15, and slicing the Bethany lead to one at 58-57 with 3:12 left in the game. The Bison struggled from the field, shooting 4-of-18 (22 percent), while Waynesburg shot 8-of-19 (42 percent), including four three pointers.
Bethany responded with a 7-1 run over the next two minutes to rebuild its lead to 65-58 entering the final minute of the contest. Waynesburg connected on three of its final five shot attempts to close out the game, but a Davis dunk and seven of nine free throw attempts helped seal the victory.
Waynesburg's Matt Popeck led all scorers with 25 points in the loss.
Bethany will put its undefeated PAC record on the line when they travel to New Wilmington, Pennsylvania to take on Westminster (7-1, 2-0 PAC) at 3:30 p.m.