Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
LORETTO, Pa. (Dec. 18) - Despite setting a season-high in points, the Bethany College men's basketball team was dealt a 113-77 loss by NCAA Division I Saint Francis (Pa.) in a non-conference matchup Monday night at the DeGol Arena.
The Bison fall to 3-7 overall, while the Red Flash, who were the preseason favorites in the Northeast Conference (NEC), improve to 5-5 this season.
Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-19 (47 percent) shooting from the floor. Sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) added 18 points, while senior forward Nick Metz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) finished with career-highs of seven points and nine rebounds in the game.
Bethany won the opening-tip and Jones drained a baseline jumper to give the Bison a 2-0 lead to start the game. The Red Flash took its first lead of the game at the 17:39-mark of the first half and held the lead from that point forward. Bethany fell behind 14-4 with 15:09 remaining in the opening period, but a three pointer by sophomore Aiden Albert (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) and a Jones jump shot on consecutive possessions over the next minute brought Bethany back within five points.
The Bison kept things relatively close over the game's first nine minutes, trailing 23-15, before Saint Francis mounted a 16-5 run to take a 39-20 lead with 6:56 left until halftime. Bethany managed to cut the lead to 14, 55-41, heading into halftime when Jones beat the buzzer and drained a trey as time expired.
The Green & White came up with the opening points of the second half on a Truex three pointer, which brought the Bison within 11, but Saint Francis did not allow Bethany to get any closer. The Red Storm out-scored the Bison 33-to-11 over the next 12 minutes and knocked down 7-of-12 three-point attempts during the stretch. Bethany's final punch came with a quick 8-2 spurt, capped off with a basket-and-one by Metz, that made the score 90-63 with 6:10 remaining in the contest.
Saint Francis ended the night 39-of-71 (55 percent) from the field, including 14-of-27 (52 percent) from long range. The Red Flash continually ran the floor all game and finished the game with a 26-to-5 advantage in fast-break points.
Six Saint Francis players scored in double figures, led by Scott Meredith, who had 21 points all on 7-of-8 three-point attempts.
Bethany will take some time off for the holidays, before returning to the hardwood on Friday, December 29 when they head to Berea, Ohio to take on Baldwin Wallace for a non-conference game at 6 p.m.