Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BETHANY, W.Va. (Jan. 3) - The Bethany College men's basketball team was defeated 71-57 by Saint Vincent Wednesday night inside the Hummel Field House in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest.
The Bison fall to 3-9 overall, 3-2 against league foes. Meanwhile, the Bearcats, who were the preseason favorite in the PAC, improve to 4-1 in conference play, 7-5 overall this season.
Senior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy) finished with a game-high 17 points to lead the Bison. Sophomore forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John's Central (Ohio)) recorded six points, a career-high 14 rebounds (four offensive), four assists and two steals, while senior center Liam Davis (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian) added 10 points and six boards in the loss.
Bethany opened up a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game, including a trey by Jones on the game's opening possession. The Bison maintained the lead until the 13:34-mark of the first half, when a Mike Simmons three-point shot knotted the contest at 13-13. The Bison regained the lead and moved ahead by five, 23-18, after sophomore guard Aiden Albert (Saxonburg, Pa./Knoch) knocked down a three pointer with 8:40 left in the first half.
Bethany led 27-23 following an Albert basket at the 5:48-mark, before Saint Vincent closed the period out with a 14-5 run, which including a Jason Capco three pointer at the horn to send the Bearcats into halftime with a 37-32 lead.
A Jones layup three minutes into the second half had Bethany within six at 41-35, but another run pushed Saint Vincent ahead further. The Bearcats scored nine-unanswered points and held the Bison scoreless for a five-minute stretch to open up a 50-35 lead. Saint Vincent eventually opened up a 21-point lead at 60-39 with 8:30 left in the game and maintained a double-digit lead for the final eight minutes to pull out the win.
The Bison were held to a season-low 57 points in the game, despite finishing with the same amount of made field goals (23) as Saint Vincent. The Bearcats finished the evening 19-of-23 (83 percent) from the free-throw line, compared to the 7-of-10 posted by Bethany.
Saint Vincent had three players score in double-figures, led by Matt D'Amico who finished with 15 points.
Bethany will travel to Greenville, Pennsylvania on Saturday, January 6 to take on Thiel College in a PAC game at 3 p.m.