The men’s basketball team competed in the Giovanni's Tip-Off Classic, where they defeated Pikeville College by a score of 80-77 and Rio Grande University by a score of 74-54, improving to 4-0. The Pilots first took on the Bears of Pikeville (NAIA D-1), who revealed themselves as a very talented team that started seven seniors. Overall the Bears looked very dominant in the first half as they were able to close the half with an 8-2 giving them a 43-32 lead. Nevertheless, the Pilots came out strong in the second half going on a 9-0 run led by Senior Caleb Laideg that led to a 43-43. Freshman Ryan Benner got hot in the second half as he was able to knock down back-to-back three pointers which gave the Pilots a four point lead late in the game. Benner would end up with 17 points with only 12 minutes of court time. The Pilots were able to knock down free throws when they had to and earned themselves a significant three point victory. In addition to Benner’s performance, freshman Kyle Ritz had his best game of the year as well as he was able to put up 16 points. Laideg also had a great game as he earned a double-double in only 26 minutes of playing time. Joe Welch played well for Bethel as well as he chipped in eleven points and established a strong presence in the paint. In the next round of the classic the Pilots downed the University of Rio Grande. Overall, the Pilots came out strong in the first half and did not look back. Bethel was very dominant over the Red Storm, forcing 14 turnovers and only giving up 54 points. Welch led all scorers on the day with 18 points and gathered five rebounds as well. Sophomore Jordan Bowerman also contributed to the Pilots’ win with 15 points. Freshman Patrick Oetting stepped up for the Pilots as well, collecting eight points off the bench. The Pilots will not be in action again until Friday, November 13, as they travel to Davenport Iowa, where they will compete in the Pepsi Challenge. Bethel will take on Olivet Nazarene on Friday and face Cardinal Stritch University on Saturday.