Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
SELLINSGROVE, Pa. - A pair of free throws in the finals seconds sent the Bethany College men's basketball team to a 75-73 loss at Susquehanna in the team's season-opening game Wednesday night.
The Bison (0-1) trailed Susquehanna (1-0) 67-59 with 6:42 left in the game, but began to chip away at the River Hawks' advantage. Bethany went on a 13-4 run over the next six minutes, capped off with a lay-up by senior forward Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian), to take a 72-71 lead with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
Susquehanna missed a potential game-tying lay-up on its next possession and Bethany converted one of its two free-throw attempts to push its advantage to 73-71 with 24 seconds on the clock. The River Hawks managed to tie the game at 73-73 with six seconds remaining in the game, forcing a Bison time out. A Bethany turnover and foul allowed Susquehanna to reclaim the lead at the charity stripe at 75-73 with two seconds on the clock, sealing a season-opening loss for the Bison.
Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) poured in a career-high 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting (65 percent) with five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Davis also registered a career-high with 18 points, while senior Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) added 15 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The first half was played tightly with the exception of a stretch near the 11-minute mark when Susquehanna opened up a 10-point lead, its biggest of the night, at 21-11 with the help of an 11-2 run over the previous five minutes. Bethany responded with a 16-2 run of its own over the next five minutes take a 26-23 with 6:01 remaining in the first half. The Bison led by as many as four and held the lead throughout the final six minutes of the half to take a 37-36 lead into the locker rooms.
The Bison built its largest-lead of the night at 44-39 less than three minutes into the second half, but went on a drought over the next three minutes to allow Susquehanna to reclaim the lead at 46-44 with 15:13 left in the game. Susquhanna remained in the lead until Bethany rallied late to take the lead in the final minute of the contest.
Bethany out-rebounded Susquehanna 37-to-28, including an 11-to-5 edge in offensive rebounds.
The Bison will look to get into the win collum this weekend when they travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to open play in the William Marshall Tournament against perennial-power Franklin & Marshall on Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. in an opening round game.