The Bethany men’s basketball team ended a two-game losing streak with an 86-73 over KCAC foe, Avila on Monday night from Haehn Gymnasium.
Avila would actually dominate the first 12 to 15 minutes of the game, as the Eagles converted on seven 3-point shots in the first half alone. With over half of the stanza over, Avila led 34-24.
Bethany though, led by Mookie Duncan, continued to make just enough shots to stay in the game. That’s when Avila cooled off towards the end of the first half. The Swedes would finish the half on a 16-5 run, including a Mitch Brown 3-pointer with 15-seconds to go in the half to put BC up 40-39 at halftime.
Avila started the second half like they did the first, on fire from 3, as Brandon Phillips hit yet another perimeter shot along with an Avila bucket put the Eagles back up 44-40 in the second half’s opening moments.
Duncan, Tyler Larkin and the Swedes though, would not be denied. After the Swedes and Eagles went back and forth in the first five minutes of the final half, Bethany began to smother Avila defensively, led by Larkin steals, followed by Larkin assists or layups.
The Swedes’ PG played one of his best games of his career Monday night as he would finish one assist shy of a triple-double. Duncan also terrorized Avila by hitting point-blank shots all night.
Bethany would build a 15 point lead with 10 minutes to go and hang on to end their two-game losing skid.
Avila (2-16, 2-14 KCAC) made 12 3’s to stay close, but couldn’t make enough shots to make a comeback. Byron Cooke had 19 points, while Phillips finished with 16.
Bethany (10-11, 7-9 KCAC) out-rebounded the Eagles 50-34 on the glass. Bethany’s Larkin finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Duncan led the team though in points, adding another double-double to his total with 27 points, 13 rebounds. Brown scored 12 points and Jovan Elezovic scored 10.
The Swedes travel to Oklahoma Wesleyan Thursday night to face the top-ranked Eagles.
Avila 64, BETHANY WOMEN 54
Bethany’s women’s team couldn’t continue their longest winning streak in league play as Avila swept the season-series with the Swedes to keep their KCAC postseason hopes alive, a make Bethany’s more precarious.
Avila got up early and would lead 36-28 at halftime after the Swedes shot just 18% from the field. The Eagles pushed their lead to 11 points in the second half when Bethany began its comeback. Sena Aktius, Alex Tyson and Keisha Hamilton would spark BC in the second half.
Bethany would actually gain the lead at three separate occasions in the fourth quarter. The Swedes led 53-52 with one minute to go, however, Avila would hit a huge Matti Morgan 3-pointer to regain the lead, then the Swedes turned the ball over and missed several close in shots. Avila ended the game on an 11-1 run to pick up a huge road win.
Avila (8-9, 7-9 KCAC) was led by Paige Bunn with 25 points. Morgan scored 19, while Taylor Faulkner finished with 16 points.
Bethany (12-10, 8-8 KCAC) remains one game up on Avila for the all-important eight spot in the league standings, though, Avila now holds the tie-breaker over BC. Aktius led the way for BC with 14 points.
Bethany travels to Bartlesville, Okla. on Thursday night to face Oklahoma Wesleyan. Tune in to 95.5 The Rock for live coverage.