LINDSBORG – The Bethany College Men’s Basketball team jumped out to a 7-0 lead over Southwestern in tonight’s KCAC matchup and never trailed as they clinched their second straight KCAC win.
Isiah Saenz, senior guard, got things going for the Swedes as he converted a transition layup to put Bethany College on the board. The following possession Saenz would find Malcolm Clayton, junior guard, on the left wing for a three pointer to make it 5-0 Swedes. Jalen Washington, junior guard, would get a steal and then find Dalton Smyres, junior forward, in transition to give Bethany a 7-0 advantage after two and a half minutes of play. Southwestern would answer with back to back buckets from Troy Baker before Dylan Smith, sophomore guard, would drive the lane for an and one to put Bethany up 10-4. Jalen Washington would then convert a transition basket before Zack Fields, senior guard, would get a steal and go end to end to put the Swedes ahead 14-4. The Moundbuilders would respond by knocking down a three before Isiah Saenz found Jalen Behr inside to put Bethany up by nine. Southwestern would get back to back baskets off of offensive rebounds to make it 16-11 but Malcolm Clayton would answer with a basket for the Swedes. After another offensive rebound and put back by the Moundbuilders Bethany would score four straight points in the paint to go up 22-13. The two sides would then exchange baskets to make it 24-17 but Isiah Saenz would hit a three with 5:50 to go in the half to put Bethany up ten. Southwestern would answer with a basket but Dylan Smith would put the Swedes back up ten by sinking a pair of free throws. Following a Moundbuilder free throw Smith would find Dalton Smyres in the lane for two to put Bethany in lead by eleven. Southwestern would score to make it 31-22 but Jalen Behr, sophomore forward, would go on a 10-2 run to put Bethany ahead 40-24 with thirty seconds left in the half. Southwestern would get a pair of free throws to make it 40-26 at the half.
Isiah Saenz opened the second half with five straight points to extend the Swedes lead to nineteen. After a Moundbuilder three Dalton Smyres would connect on one of his own to put Bethany up 48-29. Smyres would then get a steal and dunk it on the other end to make it a twenty-one point lead. Southwestern would answer with a basket of their own before another 5-0 scoring run by Isiah Saenz made it 55-31. The Moundbuilders would score four straight but Nic Slavin would answer with a corner three to put Bethany up by twenty-three. Following a Moundbuilder three Isiah Saenz would hit another three pointer to put the Swedes ahead 61-38. The Swedes would get a layup from Behr and a free throw from Fields to take a twenty-six point lead, their largest of the night, with 10:25 to play. Southwestern would attempt to comeback scoring eight straight points to make it 64-46. Dalton Smyres and Dylan Smith would get back to back layups to push the lead out to twenty-two before Southwestern hit a three pointer. Dalton Smyres would hit a free throw and Jalen Washington would score in transition to make it 71-49. The Moundbuilders would go on a 5-0 run before Milton Massey, sophomore forward, scored a pair of baskets around a Southwestern free throw to give Bethany a 75-55 advantage with 4:02 to play. The Moundbuilders would score four straight to cut the lead to 75-59 before Malcolm Clayton got free on the break for a layup. The Moundbuilders would go on another 4-0 run with Clayton putting an end to it again with a transition layup to give Bethany a 79-63 lead. Jalen Washington would then hit a pair of free throws to make it 81-63 with 1:09 remaining. The Moundbuilders would hit a three pointer to pull within fifteen but Nate Brown, senior guard, would find Timothy Yoder, junior forward in the corner for three to close out the game at 84-66.
Isiah Saenz led the way for Bethany in the scoring column pouring in a game high 18. He was followed by Dalton Smyres with 14 points and Jalen Behr with 13 points. Jalen Washington had a terrific floor game for the Swedes leading the team with 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Washington also led a Bethany defense that collected 13 steals on the night with 3 steals. Dalton Smyres, Malcolm Clayton, Isiah Saenz, and Zack Fields would all collect 2 steals for the Swedes. Smyres would lead the team with 2 blocks on the night.
For the game Bethany finished at 48.5% shooting from the field and connected on ten three pointers at 41.7%. They held the Moundbuilders to 42.2% from the field and 35% from three. The Moundbuilders would hold a slight advantage on the glass by outrebounding the Swedes 42-40. The Swedes would force 24 Southwestern turnovers on the night on their way to 21 points off of turnovers.
Up Next . . .
The Swedes will travel to Hillsboro, Kan. on Monday night to take on the Bluejays of Tabor College. That KCAC game is slated to begin at 7 PM.