Men's Basketball

Lancers steal two wins from Pilot basketball teams

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Although it was not the night that the Pilot basketball teams had hoped for, both teams put pressure on the Grace Lancers, forcing them to earn two hard fought victories on Jan. 10. The Lady Pilots lost the first game of the double header held at the Wiekamp Gymnasium by a score of 67-61, while the men’s team was eventually defeated 77-69. It was a rare night for the Lady Pilots and one that they will try to quickly forget as they were unable to hit big shots throughout most of the game. While the Lancers were able to slow down the pace, Bethel did not help themselves by committing 20 turnovers and shooting 37 percent from the field. Nevertheless, the Lady Pilots fought their way back from a seven point half time deficit and pressured Grace offense in the late minutes of the second half. Grace finished out the game by making 14 of 15 free throws and not allowing the dangerous deep shooting of the Lady Pilots to take effect. In addition, Bethel was outrebounded 46-35. There was not the usual amount of scoring from the Lady Pilot offense, but Laura Johnson continued to lead the way with 18 points, while Kristin Hicks continued her hot streak with 11. This was a devastating blow for the Pilots as they drop their first game in MCC play and fall into second place. Bethel will have a chance to control their own destiny on Jan. 14 when they host the first place Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats at 1 p.m. Following the women’s game, the men’s teams took the floor and began their contest with a full house and plenty of early intensity. The Pilots battled with the Lancers very closely in the first half but a late run and a three pointer at the buzzer gave Grace a 44-29 halftime lead. The Pilots came out in the second half with determination and showed that they were not going to back down. Several runs cut the lead to single digits; however Grace’s depth was too much and the Pilots were unable to stop the skilled post game.
Zach Miller's offensive presence kept the Pilots close for most of the game, as they eventually fell to the 5th ranked Lancers. (photo by Jeff Welsh)
The men’s team will hope to recover from this loss on Saturday when they travel to Marion to face Indiana Wesleyan at 3 p.m. This will be a crucial MCC battle as the highly ranked Wildcats have currently lost 7 of their last 10 games and Bethel is looking to climb their way out of a four way tie for sixth place in the conference standings.
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