The youngest team in the KCAC ended their season on a high note Saturday night at the Gleason Center in Sterling. Bethany pulled away in the second half for a 93-80 win, and scored their most points in regulation all year.
Neither team could miss in the first half, and combined for 13 triples at the break. Sterling’s star freshman JaMiah Windom-Haynes was fouled on a three with one second left, and sank all three free throws to give Sterling a 46-43 at intermission.
The second half featured four ties until Bethany took their first lead of the final session, 77-74 with 5:45 remaining. Reed Stephens drilled a top of the key three, Tyler Larkin finished on a fast break, and Isiah Saenz rained in back to back trey’s to push Bethany’s lead to 87-74 with 1:19 to play.
Bethany held Sterling without a field goal for nearly five minutes during their 13-0 run and pushed their cushion to 15 in closing seconds.
Five players scored in double figures for Bethany, with the freshman Saenz leading the way with 23. Bethany had a freshman lead them in scoring in six of their last seven games to wrap up the season.
Bethany finished the 2017-18 campaign 4-18 in the KCAC, and 8-22 overall.
STERLING 74, BETHANY 66
Bethany’s five game winning streak came to a halt Saturday night. Sterling sent their seniors out with a win on senior night, 74-66.
With Saint Mary winning earlier in the day, Bethany locked up the two seed in next week’s KCAC Tournament right before tip-off. That news sparked Bethany, as the Swedes opened the game on a 7-0 run in the early minutes.
Sterling weathered the Bethany storm, and used a 16-5 run over the next six minutes to create some separation. The Warriors led most of the second quarter, and took a 30-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Both teams were feeling it in the third quarter, with Sterling winning the period 24-23. It was 54-52 Sterling heading into the fourth.
Bethany went stone cold in the final session. After a Sydney Ahaneku and-1 to open the frame, Bethany didn’t score again until the 5:00 mark. Sterling had built a 12-point lead by then, and hung on for the 74-66 victory.
Bethany will host their first KCAC Tournament game in 12 years Wednesday night in Lindsborg as the Swedes entertain Tabor. Pregame coverage is set for 6:45pm on KVOB, 95.5 The Rock.