Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (March 2) - The Bison nearly erased a 16-point second half deficit, but came up short in a 101-87 loss to Medaille in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Quarterfinals played at Wilkes College Friday afternoon.
The Bethany College men's basketball team concludes the season at 17-13 overall. Meanwhile, Medaille improves to 19-10 and advances to the ECAC Semifinals tomorrow afternoon.
Bethany senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) finished with a game-high 26 points in his 113th and final game as a Bison. Jones wraps up his career sixth all-time in school history with 1,523 points and seventh all-time with 149 steals. Jones, who tied former Bison Joe Testa (2006-10) for most career games played with 113, scored 574 points this season; the fifth-highest single-season total in Bethany history.
Senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep) finished just short of a double-double with 21 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Davis closes out his Bison career third all-time in school history with 111 blocks. Senior guard Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) and freshman guard Trey Shifflett (York, Pa./William Penn) also scored in double-figures. Williams finished his career with 13 points, while Shifflett added 12 points.
Neither team found much rhythm on the neutral court early in the game. Bethany went scoreless for the first four minutes of the game, before layups by Davis and Jones tied the score at 4-4 with 15:22 left in the first half. The Mavericks started to see shots fall and converted four of their next five attempts to open up a 13-7 lead with just under 13 minutes to play until halftime.
Medaille eventually led 16-9 following a three pointer, but the Bison responded with a 10-2 run, capped off by a Williams trey, to take their first lead of the game at 19-18 with 9:21 remaining in the first half. The Mavericks reclaimed the lead and went on to out-score the Bison 16-to-6 over the ensuing six minutes of the period to take a 36-27 lead with 2:49 left until halftime. The two teams traded visits to the charity stripe in the final two minutes, before the Mavericks took a 40-34 lead into halftime.
The first five minutes of the second half saw both teams exchange baskets, before a Davis jump shot made the score 51-44 with 15:35 left in regulation. The Mavericks went on to out-score Bethany 20-to-11 over the next five minutes and built a 16-point lead at 71-55 with 9:47 remaining in the game.
The Bison managed to close the gap with a 10-2 run that made the score 73-65 with 7:35 left on the clock. Bethany took advantage of its visits to the free-throw line, converting 7-of-8 during the run. Medaille would rebuild its lead to to double-digits, 77-67, with just under seven minutes to play in the game, but another run brought the Bison within one possession. Bethany went on an 8-1 spurt with the help of seven points from Jones to draw within three, 78-75, with 5:11 to play in regulation. The Bison, who trailed by as many as 16 in the second half, were within one possession of Medaille for the first-time since the 6:17-mark of the first half.
Despite the rally, the Mavericks did not allow the Bison to get any closer and ended the game strong. Medaille out-scored Bethany 23-to-12 down the stretch and made all eight of its shot attempts, including a trio of three pointers, to close the contest.
Medaille finished the game shooting 51 percent (36 of 70), compared to the Bison, who shot 42 percent (25 of 60). A total of 49 personal fouls were called in the game which resulted in 69 free-throw attempts. Bethany was 30 of 39 (77 percent) from the line, while the Mavericks converted 21 of 30 at the charity stripe.
Bethany, which was playing without its leading rebounder due to injury, was out-rebounded 45-to-33, including a 16-to-9 margin in offensive rebounds.
Six players for Medaille finished in double-figures with Justice Fagan scoring 17 points to lead the Mavericks.
The Bison finish with 17 wins for the third-straight season under Head Coach Nick Hager. Bethany was making its second-consecutive ECAC Quarterfinal appearance.