Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Jan. 31) - The Bethany College men's basketball team had its seven-game winning-streak snapped with an 80-68 loss at Thomas More Wednesday night in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest at the Connor Center.
The loss drops the Bison to 10-3 in the PAC, 10-10 overall. Meanwhile, the Saints improve to 15-4 overall, 11-1 in conference play, and sit atop the PAC standings with five games remaining on the schedule.
Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy), the leading scoring in the PAC, finished the night with a game-high 22 points with six rebounds. Sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) tossed in 16 points, while senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep) added 10 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Thomas More opened the night with a 13-5 lead through the first five minutes of the game. Bethany responded with a 10-2 run, capped off with a three-pointer and a jumper by Truex, to tie the game at 15-15 with 11:28 left in the first half. The Saints took command of the first half from that point on, out-scoring Bethany 18-to-4 over the ensuing eight minutes to establish a 33-19 lead with just over three minutes left until halftime. The Bison closed the half strong, knocking down a pair of treys, including one in the final 15 seconds by Jones, to enter the locker rooms trailing 36-28.
The Bison split a pair of free throws on the initial possession of the second half to pull within seven, but Thomas More out-scored Bethany 20-to-7 over the first nine minutes of the second half to build up a 56-35 lead. The Bison climbed back within 12, 62-50, with 7:25 remaining in regulation, before the Saints once again re-established a sizeable advantage at 18, 75-57, with 3:16 to play in the game.
The Green & White made one last push, scoring eight-unanswered points to pull within 10, 75-65, with 1:26 left on the clock, but Thomas More held off the Bison. The Saints limited Bethany to a Jones three-point shot in the final 10 seconds to snap the Bison win streak.
The Saints held a 37-to-28 edge on the glass and a 28-to-18 advantage in points in the paint for the night.
Thomas More's Damion King, the two-time reigning PAC Player of the Week, matched Jones with an identical 22-point, six-rebound line to lead the Saints to their 9th-consecutive win.
Bethany returns home on Saturday, February 3 when it hosts Thiel College in a PAC game at 3 p.m.