Men's Basketball

Knights route Pilots 80-61, spoil senior day

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The Pilot men’s basketball senior day was spoiled by the Marian Knights who came into Mishawaka and stole a convincing 80-61 victory. Bethel honored its two senior members before the game, Matt Owens and Steven Ward; however, things went south in a hurry from there. As injuries have been a problem all season for the team, Landon Booker did not dress due to an injured Achilles tendon. As a result, the Pilots continued to alter their starting lineup and experienced another slow start. Marian set the tempo early and proved why they are tournament contender claiming an 11-2 advantage. Although Bethel has erased several deficits this year, things continued to worsen as the Knights stretched the lead to 20 points by halftime. Things remained fairly even in the second half, as Marian was able to use their strong first half to coast to the finish line. Zach Miller was the only Pilot to score in double-figures with 14 points, while Brandon Gerber chipped in nine. One of the positives notes that Bethel will take away from this game is scoring 29 points off the bench. Seniors Ward and Owens scored five and three points respectively to end their regular season careers. This was a tough way to end the regular season for the Pilots as they have now lost seven of their last nine games. As a result they are 15-14 overall and 7-11 in the MCC. In addition, the Pilots finished the season in ninth place ahead of Mount Vernon Nazarene, which means they will not be eligible to compete in the MCC tournament. However, the Pilots are qualified for the NCCAA Tournament and will await a possible seeding. Although Bethel has seemed to limp across the finish line the last couple of games, they have had a great post-season history. The Pilots won the NCCAA National Tournament in 2007.
Seniors Matt Owens (left) and Steven Ward (right) observe closely behind Coach Lightfoot as the Knights had their way with the Pilots on senior day. (photo by Jeff Welsh)
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