Men's Basketball

Men’s and women’s basketball teams suffer losses to Taylor

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Saturday, Jan. 26 was a bad day for the Bethel College Pilots and a great day for the Trojans of Taylor University. The rival teams played each other in both men’s and women’s basketball and the Trojans came out on top both times – beating the Pilot men 85-79 and the Lady Pilots 68-65.

Senior Baysia Cox led the Lady Pilots with 11 points in their loss against Taylor.
The no. 13 Lady Pilots got things kicked off the right way at least. In front of the home crowd, they stormed out to a 10-5 lead early in the game behind senior star Laura Johnson. Johnson came into the game recently becoming the 20th member of the Lady Pilots’ 1,000-point club. The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth battle. The Lady Trojans turned the ball over 17 times in the first half alone. But Taylor dominated the boards by an astounding margin of 20-10 which balanced out their sloppy ball handling to give them a 33-32 advantage at halftime. Then the Lady Pilots’ shooting went as cold as the Mishawaka weather and things began to snowball. Taylor opened up a big lead after a lightning-fast 15-5 run to start the second half. The Lady Pilots found themselves down 48-37 with starters Georgia Boisse and Ashlee Ort both on the bench with foul trouble. The game continued in similar fashion until, with about seven minutes to go and trailing 52-42, the Lady Pilots came alive. Senior Katy Stuppy nailed two three-pointers and the Lady Pilots cranked up the pressure with some full-court defense. But the final minutes were characterized by Bethel turnovers and missed opportunities. When a last-ditch three clanked off the rim at the buzzer, the Lady Pilots looked up at the scoreboard to see a 68-65 deficit. It was their first home loss of the season and it dropped them to 19-5 overall and 9-3 in Crossroads League action. They were led in scoring by senior Baysia Cox who ended with 11 points. The men’s team had their own opportunity to take down the Trojans when they traveled to Upland later in the day. The first half was tight throughout as one team would jump out to the lead just to see the other go on a quick run. Taylor held an early 17-13 lead but a subsequent 8-0 Bethel run gave the Pilots a 25-21 lead midway through the first half. Sophomores Matt Schauss and Zach Miller were the hot hands who led the Pilots to a 41-36 halftime lead. Schauss scored 11 in the first half while Miller led the team with 14.
Senior Jordan Bowerman shoots a free throw during the the Pilots' 85-79 loss to Taylor on Saturday.
But Taylor would come back with a vengeance. With 5:31 to go in the second half, Taylor held a 71-57 lead behind a blazing 64 percent field goal percentage. But once again, the Pilots had another run in them. After scoring 9 consecutive points, the Pilots found themselves down 71-66 with just under three minutes remaining. But there was nothing else left in the tank for the Pilots and Taylor closed the game out. Schauss paced the Pilots in scoring with 26 while also posting five rebounds and five assists. Senior Jordan Bowerman added 18 points and seven rebounds. Miller’s hot shooting did not carry over into the second half as he ended with 17 points – only three coming after halftime. A great sign for the Pilots was Ryan Benner’s 13 points off the bench. Benner is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered Jan. 12 against Indiana Weslyan University. The Pilots are now 19-5 overall with a 10-2 Crossroads League record. Both the men and women are back in action with a home double-header on Wednesday, Jan. 30 against Mount Vernon Nazarene. The women play at 5 p.m. while the men play at 7 p.m.    
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