Men's Basketball Topples Heidelberg

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Men's Basketball Topples Heidelberg

Nov. 22 – BETHANY, W. Va. – For the second time this season, the Bethany College men's basketball team (2-1) protected home court, defeating Heidelberg University 78-68 on Saturday afternoon in Bethany.

The Bison opened the scoring in the contest with a three-point basket by freshman Andres Herrero (Guadalajera, Spain/Torrejon). However, over the next five minutes, Heidelberg would embark on an 11-point run to take an 11-3 advantage with 14:08 remaining in the first half. The Student Princes would run the lead out to 10 (14-4) before the Bison would turn the tide.

Bethany needed just three minutes to orchestrate a 12-0 run to retake a two-point advantage in the contest. Herrero notched two buckets in the run, and was helped by triples from both senior Jeff Joynes (Baltimore, Md./Ploy) and junior Alan Harper (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic). The latter of the two knotted the game at 14-14 with 9:08 remaining in the frame.

With the Green & White once again trailing by one (18-17), the Bison went on an 11-4 run to take their largest lead of the game. The run was capped by a three-pointer from Hayden Cunningham (East Liverpool, Ohio/East Liverpool), and Bethany led 28-22 with 4:37 to go. The teams would trade baskets the rest of the way, and the Bison would go into the locker room with a six-point advantage (38-32).

Herrero and Joyce led the way for Bethany in the first half. Joyce paced the Bison with 12 points while Herrero added eight points and seven rebounds in his first start of the season. The Green & White played solid defense in the opening half, holding Heidelberg to just 29 percent shooting in the half.

In the second half, the Student Princes came out firing on all cylinders, hitting their first three three-point attempts to take a 41-40 lead with 17:47 to go. The lead would change hands four times over the next nine minutes and the Bison still found themselves down just one point (52-51) with 7:59 to play.

Bethany would turn the tide quickly, getting back-to-back "old-fashioned" three-point plays from Joynes and Joyce to take a five-point advantage (57-52) with 7:18 to go. Joyce would then add two more free throws, giving Bethany its largest lead of the afternoon, 59-52, with 6:48 to play.

The Bison would keep Heidelberg at bay over the final 6:48, never allowing the Student Princes to get closer than three points (60-57). Bethany would run the lead to as many as ten (75-65) on a pair of free throws from sophomore Pedro Lalor (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) and the Bison would go on to win by the same margin, 78-68.

The final run of the game came down to the charity stripe as the Bison showed the ability to get the most from the free throw line. Over the last 6:48 of the game, each team had 11 shots from the foul line. However, Bethany converted on 9-of-11 free throw attempts, while Heidelberg was 3-of-11 from the charity stripe.

In the final run, Lalor was a big key off the bench, as he scored six of his career-high 12 points in the waning minutes of the contest. Joyce added five points in the stretch run while Joynes and Darrian Bruster (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic) totaled three points each.

Overall offensively, Joyce led the Bison for the second time in three games, finishing the contest with 24 points and nine rebounds. Herrero notched double figures in his first start in a Bison uniform, finishing with 13 points along with nine boards. Joynes finished with double figures for the third-straight game, posting 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while Lalor added 12 of the team's 20 bench points in the contest.

The Green & White played tough in the paint, as they outrebounded Heidelberg 48-38 in the game. Despite allowing the Student Princes to shoot 50 percent from deep in the contest, the Bison held Heidelberg to just 26 percent shooting inside the arc (12-of-46).

Bethany will return to action on Saturday, November 29 when they travel to Chicago, Illinois to compete in the University of Chicago Tournament. The Green & White will kick off the Tournament at 1 p.m. against Denison University.