Herrero's 30 Propels Bison Past Ohio Northern
Dec. 31 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College men's basketball team used a solid offensive performance, including a career-high 30 points from freshman forward Andres Herrero (Guadalajara, Spain), to defeat Ohio Northern University on Wednesday afternoon in Bethany.
The first half saw the two teams keep the game close, as neither side took more than a five-point advantage in the opening frame. Ohio Northern captured the largest advantage in the first half, 24-19, on a basket by Konnor Baker with 5:25 to play in the half.
The Bison would quickly retake the lead, using a 6-0 run. Herrero started the run with a layup, and was followed by another shot in the paint, this time by freshman Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy). The Green & White would then take the lead, 25-24, on a pair of free throws by Jeff Joynes (Baltimore, Md./Poly).
After the Polar Bears tied the game at 27-27, the Bison would push the lead to four, 31-27, on back-to-back buckets from Yuki Yashiro (Chiba, Japan) and Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) with 1:18 remaining in the frame.
Ohio Northern would respond late, including a three-pointer by Joey DiOrio, knotting the game at 33-33 as the teams headed into the halftime break.
The team's played even across the board in the first half, with each side forcing the other into ten turnovers. The Bison capitalized on the turnovers, however, holding a 12-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Ohio Northern responded in the frame by outscoring the Bison 18-3 from behind thee three-point line.
In the second stanza, the Bison turned on the defensive pressure. With the game tied at 35-35 early in the frame, the Bison embarked on an 11-0 run. Four different players would notch a bucket in the run, initiated by a fast-break dunk from junior Darrian Bruster (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic). Sophomore Pedro Lalor (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) then hit a layup in traffic, and was followed by a steal and fast-break score from Delonte' Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis). Finally, the run was capped by a three pointer from Herrero, giving the Green & White a 46-35 advantage with 16:12 to play.
Over the next five minutes of play, the Polar Bears would chip away at the Bison advantage, cutting the lead to five (55-50) with 11:27 remaining. However, the Bison would use another small run to push their lead to what would prove to be the largest of the game.
Bethany needed just 1:16 of clock time to push the lead back to double figures thanks to a 7-0 run. After Jones made a layup in the paint, Joyce rattled off five-straight points, including an old-fashioned three-point play, giving the Bison a 12-point lead (62-50) with 10:11 to play.
Ohio Northern would once again cut into the lead, eventually retaking a two-point advantage (70-68) on a layup by Isaiah Roux with 4:13 remaining. However, junior Alan Harper (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic) would respond with a jumper to knot the game at 70-70 with just under four to play.
Harper would score three more of his eight second-half points over the next two minutes, helping Bethany regain a five-point lead (75-70) with 2:09 left. The Bison would then use solid defense, holding Ohio Northern to just three more points over the final two minutes of the game, capturing the 79-73 victory.
Offensively in the win, the Bison played efficiently, shooting 50 percent in each half to finish the game 29-of-58 from the field. A big key to that success was the effort from Herrero who completed the contest with a career-high 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. It marked the first time since the 2012-2013 season that someone not named Delonte' Joyce has scored at least 30 in a game (Leslie Addy scored 33 against Washington & Jefferson on January 12, 2013). He also notched his second-career double-double, totaling a career-high 12 rebounds to go with his 30 points.
Other offensive leaders for the Bison included Joyce, Joynes and Harper. Joyce, who has registered double digits in every Bison win this year, finished with 11 points. Joynes and Harper each totaled eight points apiece, with all eight of Harper's coming in the second half.
The Green & White held a strong edge over Ohio Northern in both points off turnovers (22-11), as well as points in the paint (46-28). The Bison also played well defensively, totaling double-digit steals for the fourth time this season, led by Joyce's four.
Bethany will be back in action on Saturday, January 3, as they travel to Berea, Ohio to compete against the Yellow Jackets of Baldwin-Wallace. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.