Bison men surge past Thiel, 74-71

Bison men surge past Thiel, 74-71

Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director

GREENVILLE, Pa. (Jan. 6) - The Bison erased a 14-point second half deficit and finished the game with nine-straight points to claim a 74-71 win at Thiel Saturday evening in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play at the Beeghly Gymnasium.

The win improves the Bethany College men's basketball team to 4-2 in the PAC, 4-9 overall. Meanwhile, the Tomcats fall to 4-6 overall, 2-3 against league foes this season.

The Bison trailed 69-61 with 3:34 remaining in the game. Three-point shots by senior guards Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) and Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) helped bring Bethany within three points, 71-68, with 1:13 left in the game.

A turnover on the next Tomcat possession helped setup a quick layup by senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) to draw within one and another turnover with 40 seconds on the clock gave the Bison the ball back. Jones drove the lane on Bethany's next possession and dished to a slashing Christian Harris (Cleveland, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), who leaned in and gave the Bison a 72-71 lead with 16 seconds left in the game.

Thiel had multiple chances to tie or take the lead, but a defensive rebound and two made free throws by Harris pushed the Bethany lead to 74-71 with two seconds left in the game. Thiel's Tyriek Burton, the reigning PAC Player of the Year, had a good look in the corner with a chance to tie, but came up short, securing the come-from-behind win for the Bison.

Jones led the Bison with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field. Davis tossed in 19 points and six rebounds, while Harris chipped in 10 points to help Bethany rally.

Bethany led 4-2 in the opening two minutes of the game, before Thiel scored eight-unanswered to take a 10-4 advantage with 15:44 to play in the first half. The Bison closed the gap to two, but the Tomcats pulled away to build a double-digit lead. Thiel led by as many as 19 in the first half, before taking a 39-26 lead into halftime.

The Bison appeared poised to overcome the deficit quickly, mounting an 18-7 run over the first five minutes of the second half to pull within two at 46-44. The two team's went back-and-forth, but Thiel never allowed Bethany to take the lead and rebuilt its lead to eight at 69-61 with under four minutes left in the game.

Thiel was led by Nyric Gosley, who scored 18 points, while Burton added 16 in the loss.

Williams was making his first-appearance since being sidelined with an injury in November. He finished the game with seven points off of the bench in 22 minutes of court time.

The win came on the heels of the Bethany women's basketball team rallying from down 14 points in the fourth quarter to earn a come-from-behind win of its own versus Thiel.

Bethany returns home for two games next week, starting on Wednesday, January 10 when they host Washington & Jefferson around 7:30 p.m.