It was another tough MCC battle for the men’s basketball team on Thursday Jan. 5, as the Cougars from Saint Francis came into Mishawaka and turned away the Pilots by a score of 69-58. Despite an early run by Bethel at the start of the game, Saint Francis was not only able to recover but sustain a comfortable lead throughout most of the second half. Ryan Benner opened up the game for the Pilots with a four point play. From there, Zach Miller would knock down a three in the following possession and the Pilots would go on to claim a 22-12 lead. Then everything went wrong for Bethel as the shooting went cold and they would make two points in the last eight minutes of the half. In addition, the Cougars found their rhythm and took a 31-24 lead into half time. Both teams opened up the first critical minutes of the second half with plenty of intensity; however, Saint Francis seemed to be able to match everything the Pilots put up. As a result, the Cougars would go on to claim a decisive 11 point win. Miller had another strong game for the Pilots as he led the team with 17 points, while Benner chipped in 13. Patrick Oetting also nearly had a double-double on the night, scoring 9 points and gathering 12 rebounds. The Pilots will be forced to move on and quickly erase this loss with a trip Marian on Saturday Jan. 5. Tip off against the Knights is set for 3 p.m.