It had been quite some time since the Lady Swedes had defeated the Lady Falcons, in fact you’d have to go all the way back to 2009 for the last Bethany victory over Friends. The Lady Swedes put an end to that prolific run as they were able to put away the Lady Falcons inside Haun Gymnasium on Saturday by a final of 58-56.
Friends took a 7-0 lead to begin the contest, but an 11-2 run halfway through the first quarter gave Bethany their first lead at 11-9. They would push their lead to four by the end of the first quarter leading 19-15. A back and forth second quarter of play saw the Lady Swedes extend upon their lead going up 34-28 heading into the halftime break.
A slow start to the second half by both squads allowed Bethany to extend their lead through three quarters at 45-37. In the fourth, Friends would chip away at the lead, getting as close as one, but never quite able to get over the hump, the Lady Swedes secured the home victory by a final of 58-56.
Sena Aktas led the way for Bethany with 11 points, while front court teammates Erin Richardson and Kelsi Mueller chipped in with 8 points 5 rebounds and 7 points 9 rebounds respectfully. Daija Styles had 10 points to lead all Falcon scorers.
The Lady Swedes will be back in action on December 30th, as they travel to Hays to take on Fort Hays State in an exhibition contest. Bethany will return to KCAC play on January 2nd as they hit the road to Sterling to face the Lady Warriors.
In the nightcap, the men fell behind early, made a gritty comeback late, but eventually fell to the hands of Friends by a 90-84 margin.
A 10-2 run to begin the game by the Falcons put the Swedes behind the proverbial eight ball early. Bethany would get as close as one near the halfway mark of the half, but Friends would outscore Bethany in the final 10 minutes 22-10 and take a 43-27 halftime lead.
Friends would push the lead to 20 at 61-41 with 12:20 to go, before Bethany would begin their comeback. Over the next nine minutes, the Swedes would outscore the Falcons 34-16 to get the deficit as close as two at 77-75, but the rally would fall short with Friends going on to win by a final score of 90-84.
Senior Tyler Larkin had 29 points to lead the Swedes while Lavaris Duncan and Isiah Saenz had 22 points a piece. Reigning KCAC player of the year Jordan Murdock had 35 points and 10 rebounds to head the Falcons scoring brigade.
The Swedes travel to San Antonio on Monday to face the University of Texas San Antonio in an exhibition match. Their next KCAC contest will be on January 2nd at Sterling College.