Now up to 20th in the NAIA Division II polls, the Bethel College men’s basketball team used a blue collar effort to claim an 88-75 win over McPherson College Wednesday night in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.

Bethe; improves to 12-2, 7-1 in KCAC play. McPherson drops to 8-5, 5-4 in KCAC play.

“The crazy thing is, a year ago or two years ago, we would have said ‘What a game. We were glad we could pull out of it,’” Bethel coach Jayson Artaz said. “Today, we have expectations. Now we need to take a lead and pull it out to 15 or 25. We’re so much of a better team. We have go to be able to step on somebody’s neck and put them away, instead of giving them chances. McPherson is good. They are going to beat a lot of teams in our conference. It would have been nice to extend the lead a little more, but we’ll take it.”

Jaylon Scott led Bethel with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Poe Bryant and Garrett White each scored 17 points. Terrell Marshall and Kylon Bryant each scored 10. Kylon Bryant tied his career high.

“We played hard,” Scott said. “We rebounded. That was our focus tonight was rebounding. We did that tonight. Those are fun games. We pride ourselves on being the toughest team in the conference. They always stuck around. We need to be able to push it to 15 or 25. We’re on a roll right now. We’re a confident group of guys.”

“Five in double figures,” Artaz said. “That’s been our MO for the most part. I feel like we’ve had a lot of games where we had five, six or seven guys come in and make plays or score or whatever else. It’s been nice to have that kind of depth.”

McPherson was led by Lual Magot with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Dorian Paige scored 12. Fred Watts and Josh Rivers each added 10.

Bethel fell down 6-0 in the first two minutes of play, but pulled away by as many as 13. McPherson hit some late 3-pointers to draw within six, but a 6-0 Thresher run put Bethel up 43-31 at the half. A Terrell Marshall layup with six seconds left in the half capped the run.

Marshall opened the second half with a trey. Bethel extended its lead by as many as 18. McPherson pulled back to within nine, but could get no closer.

Bethel plays at 7 p.m. Saturday at Friends. The Falcons are 7-6, 6-3 in the KCAC, after a 72-71 win at Oklahoma Wesleyan.

“We will have to be ready to go,” Artaz said. “They have a really good guard in (James) Comley (18.5 ppg). They are going to be tough. They are going to be physical. He’s a force. We’ll see what we can do. We’ll have some short practices to freshen up our legs again and be ready to go.”

THE POLLS — In the second regular-season NAIA Division II poll, Bethel moved up five spots to no. 20. Ottawa jumped two spots to no. 10. Oklahoma Wesleyan received votes.

Morningside moved into the top spot ahead former no. 1 Oregon Tech. Indiana Wesleyan is tied with Oregon Tech for second. Mount Vernon Nazarene is fourth and College of Idaho is fifth.

McPHERSON (8-5, 5-4 KCAC) — Grant Munsen 0-2 0-0 0, Fred Watts 3-7 3-6 10, Lual Magot 7-11 10-13 24, Dorian Paige 4-11 2-4 12, Delvon Hightower 2-8 2-2 6, Josh Rivers 4-11 0-0 10, Travon Shelvin 1-5 0-0 3, Myles McCrary 0-0 0-0 0, Christian Aguillard 0-0 1-2 1, Kemryn Jenkins 2-6 0-0 5, Gage Maccoy 1-6 2-2 4. TOTALS 24-67 20-29 75.

BETHEL (12-2, 7-1 KCAC) — Poe Bryant 6-9 3-6 17, Tavaughn Flowers 2-3 1-2 5, Terrell Marshall 3-8 3-4 10, Garrett White 7-14 3-5 17, Greg White 0-0 0-0 0, Clifford Byrd II 3-8 0-0 6, Kylon Bryant 4-6 1-2 10, Dakota Foster 1-6 0-0 3, Jaylon Scott 5-10 8-13 18, Scott Garriga 1-3 0-0 2. TOTALS 32-67 19-32 88.

McPherson;31;44;—75

Bethel;43;45;—88

Total fouls — MC 23, BC 19. Technical fouls — MC: Jenkins 7:18-2h. BC: Ga.White (diving) 6:17-2h, P.Bryant :26.5-2h. Intentional foul — MC: Watts 13:46-2h. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — MC 7-29 (Watts 1-3, Magot 0-1, Paige 2-5, Hightower 0-4, Rivers 2-5, Shelvin 1-4, Jenkins 1-4, Maccoy 0-3), BC 5-17 (P.Bryant 2-2, Marshall 1-2, Ga.White 0-4, Byrd II 0-2, K.Bryant 1-2, Foster 1-2, Scott 0-2, Garriga 0-1). Rebounds — MC 39 (Magot 14), BC 38 (Scott 15). Assists — MC 13 (Rivers 6), BC 13 (Marshall 6). Turnovers — MC 18 (Magot 5), BC 13 (P.Bryant 3, Marshall 3). Blocked shots — MC 2 (Munsen 1, Aguillard 1), BC 4 (P.Bryant 2, Scott 2). Steals — MC 7 (Paige 2, Rivers 2), BC 9 (Marshall 3, Ga.White 3).

NAIA Division II

Coaches Top 25

TW;LW;SCHOOL [FPV];REC.;PTS.

1;2;Morningside (Iowa) [12];10-0;312

2;1;Oregon Tech;10-1;295

2;3;Indiana Wesleyan;9-2;295

4;4;Mt. Vernon Naz.;11-1;286

5;5;Col. of Idaho;9-3;266

6;8;Olivet Naz. (Ill.);11-1;263

7;6;Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.);9-1;255

8;10;Marian (Ind.);8-2;242

9;19;Bethel (Ind.);11-0;224

10;12;Ottawa (Kan.);11-1;219

11;13;Ave Maria (Fla.);10-1;204

12;11;Wash. Adventist (Md.);10-3;203

13;16;IU Kokomo (Ind.);9-2;169

14;NR;Lourdes (Ohio);9-3;162

15;7;Spring Arbor (Mich.);6-4;161

16;20;St. Ambrose (Iowa);10-2;155

17;15;Saint Francis (Ind.);11-2;153

18;17;Southern Oregon;6-3;150

19;NR;Northwestern (Iowa);10-2;145

20;22;Bethel (Kan.);11-2;124

21;NR;Mich.-Dearborn;10-3;105

22;NR;Keiser (Fla.);9-1;94

23;NR;Mount Marty (S.D.);12-2;82

24;14;Cornerstone (Mich.);9-5;71

25;NR;Antelope Val.;7-3;63

Dropped Out: Union (Ky.), Saint Xavier (Ill.), Warner (Fla.), Madonna (Mich.), Dordt (Iowa).

Receiving Votes: Union (Ky.) 34, Saint Xavier (Ill.) 34, Warner (Fla.) 32, Indiana Southeast 32, Oklahoma Wesleyan 32, Southeastern (Fla.) 27, Madonna (Mich.) 23, Dordt (Iowa), 22, Mayville State (N.D.) 21, Northwest (Wash.) 7, Indiana East 3.