The magic number for Bethany was 18. It would take fewer than 18 turnovers by Bethany to upset the 22nd ranked Friends Falcons, according to coach Keith Ferguson. Bethany finished the night with 17, but couldn’t overcome ice-cold shooting during a 76-67 loss in Wichita.
Bethany shot just 33% from the floor, and went 4-18 from downtown against a pestering Friends defense.
Bethany got on the board first after an opening tip run-out to Marissa Pope. The Swedes led 2-0, but Friends answered with a 21-4 run to take control in the early minutes. After hitting their first two field goals, Bethany missed 15 of their next 19 shots. Friends led 23-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Bethany trimmed the deficit to nine at the half, 39-30. With the Falcons leading scorer Betty Akathiotou bothered by foul trouble, Makenzie Vining exploded for 23 points, on 4-9 shooting from downtown. Vining’s last three of the third quarter gave Friends a 19 point lead, 56-37 with 2:33 remaining in the session.
Bethany started chipping away at the lead in the fourth quarter, and cut it to five with a minute to go, 70-65. However, the Falcons were solid from the foul line in the closing seconds to hang on for the win.
Bethany falls to 9-6 in league play, and travels to Ottawa on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 3pm, with pregame coverage at 2:45pm on KVOB 95.5 The Rock.
Friends 75, Bethany 62
The final score didn’t do justice for how hard Bethany played Wednesday night in Wichita. The leading scorer in the nation, Jordan Murdock, finished with one point below his average, but the Falcons were still able to carve out a 75-62 win over Bethany.
After a Jesse Patrick layup, Bethany led 26-19 with 6:08 to go in the first half. Friends answered with an 11-0 burst to climb back on top, and led 37-36 at the half.
Bethany couldn’t buy a basket to start the second half, and the Falcons went on a 15-2 run to start the final stanza.
Murdock recorded his 13th double-double of the season, and recorded 28 points and 13 rebounds. Bethany’s Tyler Larkin led the team with 18, and freshman point guard Isiah Saenz had 16.
Bethany travels to Ottawa to take on the Braves on Saturday. Pregame coverage can be heard on KVOB 95.5 The Rock at 4:45pm.