In its season opener, the Bethel College men’s basketball team left no doubt that they are prepared to start the new campaign. Some hot second half shooting combined with their usual pressure defense catapulted the Pilots to a 121-63 drubbing of the Holy Cross College Saints on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Junior Ryan Benner led the way with 35 points while shooting 12-19 from the field, including six second-half threes. Neither team looked stellar offensively in the first half when the score was 43-28. But the Pilots tied a school record by scoring 78 second-half points. “In the first half, I thought we were a little tight,” said head coach Mike Lightfoot. “We played great defense but we didn’t shoot well…then it started raining, raining those shots, and so we were able to put a lot of points up on the board.” Still, the outcome of the game was never in question. “We just wanted to come out and play hard,” Benner said. “…we knew the score would take care of itself but it feels good to get the first win.” Others who filled up the stat column included sophomore Matt Schauss who scored 18 points to go along with eight assists and his older brother Drew, a senior but playing his first season at Bethel, who tallied 11 points and nine rebounds. Zach Miller also chipped in 15 points. Another good sign for the Pilots was the outstanding play of many newcomers. Not only did Drew Schauss play well, but freshman Travis Smith saw a big chunk of playing time also. Smith ended the game with eight points, four rebounds and three assists. Other freshman who saw game action were Jared Mott and Jordyn Coon. “You want to try to get (the new players) in a little bit here and there to kind of build their confidence,” said Lightfoot. “Because you know it’s a long season – 30 games is a long year – and so you have to have everybody contribute.” The Pilots' next game comes at the Giovanni's Tip-off Classic in Rio Grande, Ohio as they will face the University of Rio Grande on Friday, Nov. 2 at 8:00 pm.