Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BEREA, Ohio (Dec. 29) - The Bethany College men's basketball team closed out a challanging non-conference slate with a 94-71 loss at Baldwin Wallace Friday night at the Upspring Gymnasium.
The Bison fall to 3-8 overall, while the Yellow Jackets improve to 9-2 this season.
Sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) led the Bison with 21 points on 9-of-15 (60 percent) shooting from the field and five rebounds. Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) added 18 points, while senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) added 10 points in the loss.
The Bison opened the game with an 8-5 lead behind treys by both Truex and Jones in the opening two minutes and led for the majority of the first seven minutes. Bethany eventually claimed a 16-9 advantage at the 14:41 mark on a layup by sophomore guard Dylan Salmon (Bethesda, Md./Heights School), but the Yellow Jackets turned the game around. Baldwin Wallace scored eight-unanswered points to take a 17-16 lead with 12:57 remaining in the first half.
The two teams went back-and-forth over the next eight minutes. The game saw five lead changes and two tie scores over that stretch, before a Davis layup gave Bethany a 33-32 lead and forced a BW timeout with 5:35 left until halftime. The Yellow Jackets took control of the first half from that point, closing the frame on a 14-2 run to take a 46-35 lead into the locker rooms. Baldwin Wallace opened the run with three-consecutive possessions with made three-point shots and held Bethany to 1-of-8 shooting from the field during the same span.
The Yellow Jackets continued to own the momentum of the contest following halftime with 11-unanswered points to take a 57-35 lead with 16:40 left in the game. A shifty layup by junior Malik Ellis (Richmond, Va./Life Christian Academy) halted the run and and propelled the Green & White to an 11-5 spurt that pulled the team back within 16 points at 62-46 with 13:32 remaining in regulation.
Baldwin Wallace built its lead back to over 20 points two minutes later and did not allow the Bison to inch any further.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of the charity stripe in the game. BW made 15-of-16 from the free-throw line in the first half and 23-of-28 (82 percent) for the game. Bethany was only 3-of-5 in the first half and 8-of-16 in the game when they went to the foul line.
Baldwin Wallace had four players score in double-figures, led by Cam Kuhn who had a game-high 22 points.
Bethany's seven opponents in non-conference play currently stand at 45-23 (.661) this season, including a NCAA Division I St. Francis (Pa.) team who is 6-5 overall with losses to Duke, Louisville and Saint Mary's.
The Bison will return to Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play on Wednesday, January 3 when they host preseason league-favorite Saint Vincent around 7:30 p.m. inside the Hummel Field House. The Bison were the only team in the PAC to win both regular-season meetings against the Bearcats last season.