LINDSBORG — Down by eight with 10:05 remaining, it was time for the Bethel College men’s basketball team to do something.

The Threshers performed down the stretch to down Bethany 79-71 Wednesday night in the KCAC opener for both teams at Hahn Gymnasium in Lindsborg.

“We finally defended,” Bethel coach Tony Hoops said of his team’s late comeback. “We have this thing where we try to have three stops in a row. We were able to do that a couple times. We did that twice in the last 2 1/2 minutes of the game. We got six stops in the last 2:30 of the game. That’s what won it for us. We didn’t play great. But when we were down eight win the last 8 1/2 minutes, then all of a sudden, we started playing with purpose. We defended and we finished off with rebounds.”

Despite a slight height disadvantage, Bethel outrebounded the Swedes 49-40.

Bethel put four players in double figures in scoring, led by Chase Banister with 16, Terrell Marshall with 14, David Harris with 12 and Maurice Jordan with 10. Sam Morgan and Dakota Foster each had 10 rebounds.

“We came out a little flat in the second half and got in a little hole,” Bannister said. “We knew it was gut check time. It’s never easy to win on the road. Especially in this conference. We learned a lot about this team. We had two ‘kill-its,’ where we stop them three times in a row. I’m really proud of the team and how we finished it. I was able to get it going on a few good looks set up by my teammates. It was a hard-won game.”

Bethany, 3-5 overall, was led by Tyler Larkin with 19. Isiah Saenz added 11 points.

Neither team led by more than four points for the first 18 minutes of the first half. Bethel pulled away by eight in the final minute of play, but a Tyler Larkin putback with 7.4 seconds left in the half got the Swedes back within six at the half, 41-35.

Bethel was three for five from the free throw line in the first half, while Bethany was two for 14 from the line.

“At the half, we had 12 assists and six turnover, and I turned to my assistants with nine minutes to go in the second half and, we only scored 13 points,” Hoops said. “We weren’t doing dumb things, we just were missing shots. We missed layups, we missed open threes. That’s going to happen sometimes. We didn’t play our best, and that’s going to happen in this conference. Sometimes, you have to win ugly.”

Up by seven early in the second half, Bethel gave up a 10-0 run aided by Threshers missed shots and turnovers.

With Bethany up by two, Isiah Saenz hit back-to-back treys to give the Swedes an eight-point lead with 9:52 to play.

Bethel charged back, tying the game on a Bannister trey with 6:49 to play. After one of two Bethany free throws, Dakota Foster put the Threshers back in the lead with a three-point play. Poe Bryant followed with a three-point play with 4:52 in regulation.

In the final three minutes, Bethel was able to work off the shot clock before hitting a basket, but the Swedes were able to respond quickly.

David Harris hit two free throws with 30.5 seconds to play to put Bethel up by seven. Larkin hit a layup just under nine seconds later.

Marshall followed with one of two free throws with 19.5 seconds in regulation. After a rebound on the other end, Marshall hit two free throws with 11.1 seconds to play.

“Looking at our schedule, I knew we had a tough non-conference schedule,” Bannister said. “We just had to stay the course and don’t panic. Tonight was one of the stepping stones. We played pretty tough down the stretch.”

Bethel hosts Friends at 8 p.m. Saturday. The Falcons are 2-3, opening conference play with a 73-70 win at Saint Mary.

“(Jordan) Murdock is a really good player,” Hoops said. “He went off for 44 earlier this season. We’re going to have to defend him well. Other than that, they have a lot of newcomers. It feels good to start 1-0 in conference.”

BETHEL (2-4, 1-0 KCAC) — Trey Sleep 1-4 1-2 3, Chase Banister 6-12 2-2 16, Poe Bryant 3-5 1-1 7, Dakota Foster 3-9 1-1 8, Terrell Marshall 4-5 6-7 14, Maurice Jordan 4-13 0-0 10, Jalal Gondal 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Morgan 0-4 1-2 1, Joe Rushing 4-8 0-1 8, David Harris 4-9 3-4 12. TOTALS 29-69 15-20 7.

BETHANY (3-5, 0-1 KCAC) — Isiah Saenz 4-9 0-2 11, Milos Milosevic 4-8 1-4 9, Michael Simpson 1-3 0-1 3, Mitchell Brown 1-2 0-0 3, Tyler Larkin 8-14 1-3 19, Ryan Wilson 2-6 0-2 5, Sebastien Jean-Charles 0-2 3-4 3, Jesse Patrick 4-5 0-2 8, Thomas Hood 3-6 0-2 6, Keil Kelly 1-5 0-0 2, Baptiste Chazelas 0-1 0-0 0, Zach Batman 0-1 0-0 0, Dan Dickenson 1-3 0-0 2. TOTALS 29-65 5-20 71.



Total fouls — Bethel 18, Bethany 22. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — Bethel 6-23 (Banister 2-6, Bryant 0-1, Foster 1-3, Jordan 2-7, Morgan 0-2, Harris 1-4), Bethany 8-26 (Saenz 3-8, Simpson 1-3, Brown 1-2, Larkin 2-3, Wilson 1-4, Hood 0-2, Kelly 0-3, Dickenson 0-1). Rebounds — Bethel 49 (Foster 10, Morgan 10), Bethany 40 (Wilson 8). Assists — Bethel 15 (Banister 3, Morgan 3), Bethany 17 (Larkin 6). Turnovers — Bethel 15 (Morgan 3, Banister 3, Marshall 3), Bethany 10 (Jean-Charles 3). Blocked shots — Bethel 3 (Bryant 1, Foster 1, Rushing 1), Bethany 6 (Milosevic 3). Steals — Bethel 6 (Banister 2, Foster 2, Morgan 2), Bethany 10 (Saenz 2, Larkin 2, Kelly 2). Attendance — 435.