Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Dec. 9) - The Bethany College men's basketball team was handed a 90-69 loss at Westminster Saturday afternoon in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest at the Buzz Ridl Gymnasium.
The Bison fall to 3-1 in league play, 3-6 overall this season. Meanwhile, the Titans propel themselves atop the PAC standings at 3-0, 8-1 overall. Westminster's only loss this season was to Division I Youngstown State.
Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy), the reigning PAC Player of the Week, dropped a career-high 30 points in the loss. Sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) chipped in 18 points on 8-of-14 (57 percent) shooting with a team-high seven rebounds.
Westminster started fast after knocking down each of its first five shots, including three three-point shots, to take a a 13-6 lead early in the game. Layups by Truex and Jones brought Bethany back within three, 13-10, but the Titans would follow with a 20-4 run over the next eight minutes to pull out to a 33-14 advantage with 7:20 remaining in the first half. The Bison chipped away at the deficit by out-scoring Westminster 20-to-13 down the stretch of the first half, including back-to-back treys by Jones and Truex in the final minute, to trail 46-34 entering halftime.
The Titans scored the opening points of the second half, but a three-pointer by sophomore Aiden Albert (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) and a layup by Jones helped Bethany slice the Westminster lead to single digits at at 48-39 with 18:55 left in the game. The Titans rebuilt their lead to 16, 56-40, over the next two minutes and did not allow the Bison to get within 10 points for the remainder of the game. Westminster accounted for 14 of their 21 offensive rebounds in the second half which led directly to 20 second-chance points to move past Bethany for sole possession of first-place in the PAC standings.
Westminster finished with a 50-to-39 edge on the glass, including a 21-to-12 advantage in offensive rebounds. Both team's shot 42 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range.
The Titans had five players score in double-figures, led by 24 points off of the bench from Blake Payne.
Bethany has the next week off to prepare for final exams and will return to action on Monday, December 18 when they head to Loretto, Pennsylvania to take on NCAA Division I Saint Francis (3-5) for a 7 p.m. tip. Saint Francis was tabbed the preseason favorite in the Northeast Conference.