The Bethel College men’s basketball team played their last regular season home game on Tuesday evening against Taylor University. The Pilots won the game by a score of 70-57 and sent their five seniors out in fashion. The Pilots were led in scoring by seniors Tony Benford and Tyler Brown. Benford led the way with 17 points and 12 of those came from three point land. Brown had 16 points and also totaled five rebounds. Seniors Ryne Lightfoot and Wes Laidig each added 14 points. The other senior, Derek Moser added two points and a rebound.
The win solidifies the Pilot’s second place position in the MCC. The Pilots trail the Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats who are in first place with one game remaining. The Pilots need the Wildcats to lose on Saturday at Taylor to go along with a Pilot victory at St. Francis. The Pilots lost in an earlier meeting with St. Francis by two points at Bethel. Currently the Pilots are ranked 12 in the nation while St. Francis is ranked tenth.
The five seniors on this year’s team are vital to Bethel’s success. This group of seniors has made a great impact on the program over their four year careers. Both Brown and Lightfoot have started almost every game since coming in as freshmen. Laidig has been an all purpose player for the Pilots. He can either be a “super sub” for the Pilots or start. Moser does not get a lot of playing time, but that does not mean he is not a key part to Bethel. He is a great leader and hard worker that challenges the other guys to be their best. Benford is a senior who transferred to Bethel last year. He has been a starter and has added great depth at the guard spot for the Pilots.
The seniors look to leave one last impression on Bethel and that is an NAIA National Championship. They are in a good position to clinch a spot back in the national tourney. The Pilots finish out the regular season on Saturday at St. Francis and then will host a first round MCC tournament game Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 pm. The Pilots are trying to win the conference tourney for the third straight year.