Already leading by eight at halftime, the Bethany College men's basketball team shot a sizzling 68 percent in the second half and pulled away for a convincing 92-67 victory over visiting Waynesburg Wednesday night in the PAC opener for both teams.
With the score knotted at 16 at the 11-mark of the first half, the Bison scored eight straight to ignite a 15-4 surge. The double-digit lead didn't last for long, as the Yellow Jackets scored eight of the final 13 points of the half to trim the BC margin down to 36-28 at the intermission.
Waynesburg scored on its opening possession of the second half, but the Bison took over from there. A 19-0 outburst ensued, which featured a breakaway dunk and trey from junior Leslie Addy (Columbia, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) and two triples from senior Reece Mabery (Natrona Heights, Pa./Highlands). When senior James Barton (Bethel Park, Pa.) buried a jumper to cap the run, Bethany's lead stood at 55-30. The advantage was as large as 30 at one time in the second half, as BC knocked down 23-of-34 attempts from the floor following halftime, including 8-of-14 from beyond the arc.
In addition to the hot shooting, Bethany, which extended its winning streak to 22 games over the Yellow Jackets, also forced 26 turnovers. That helped balance out Waynesburg's big 46-30 advantage on the glass.
Eleven different players hit the scorebook before the final horn sounded, with four reaching double digits. Senior Nick Wilcox (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) posted his average with 16 points and he added seven rebounds and five steals, both team-highs. Barton chipped in with 15, while Mabery and senior Brady Pacific (Avonmore, Pa./Kiski) dropped in 13 apiece.
Pacing the Yellow Jackets in the loss was Jason Propst, who notched a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Thomas Ellis with 12 markers off the bench.
Bethany will look to start 2-0 in the PAC on Saturday with a road trip to Grove City. The Wolverines suffered a 64-45 defeat at Thomas More in their league opener Wednesday night. Saturday's tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.