It was a rough day for Pilot basketball on Saturday, Feb. 4. While the men’s team was downed convincingly by the top ranked Saint Francis Cougars 108-72 on the road, the women’s team was upset by the Lady Cougars at home 65-56. With these losses the men fall to 6-8 in the MCC and 14-11 overall, whereas the Lady Pilots fall to 11-3 in the conference but maintain a firm grasp on second place. In the men’s competition, the early minutes of the game set the tone for an offensive shootout. Both teams felt confident on the run and capitalized in transition. Despite an even battle for most of the opening minutes, Saint Francis closed the half on a 12-2 run to take a 46-39 lead. The second half turned out to be a tough one for the Pilot defense. The Cougars came out in the second half with something to prove and used the home crowd to build a 24 point lead within the first five minutes. From there, the lead continued to build as Bethel’s shooting went cold. As a result, the Pilots were outscored 62-33. Landon Booker was a strong leader out on the court for Bethel as he chipped in 18 points and two steals. In addition, Nick Lewis gave tremendous support off the bench with 14 points and 4 points. Zach Miller and Matt Schauss each scored 11. Despite recently being awarded the 12th overall ranking in NAIA Division II, the Lady Pilots suffered another disappointment on their senior day. The first half was a low scoring defensive battle, which is something that heavily favored Saint Francis. At the break, the Lady Cougars held a 25-23 lead. The second half was a tough battle for Bethel as they fell behind by 12 points with less than five minutes remaining. However, they were able to cut it to two points with two minutes to go. Due to costly turnovers and d efensive breakdowns down the stretch, the Lady Pilots would eventually suffer a nine point loss. Laura Johnson led the team with 14 points, while Katy Stuppy scored 10. Sarah Clark, the only senior on this year’s roster, chipped in five points and an offensive rebound off the bench. The men’s team will return home on Feb. 7 to take on Huntington University and the women’s team will travel to Huntington on Feb. 8.