Shooting struggles hamper Threshers

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Bethel junior Clifford Byrd II, seen from action earlier this season, scored 16 point for the Threshers in a 69-59 loss to Shawnee State in the round of 16 at the NAIA national tournament at Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Bethel finished its most successful season in school history 21-7, winning the KCAC regular season and tournament titles and going three rounds into the national tournament.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hampered by 23.1% shooting, the Bethel College men’s basketball team ended the season with a 69-59 loss to Shawnee State Thursday afternoon in the round of 16 in the NAIA Championships at Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

Bethel hit just 20 of 71 from the field, six of 29 from 3-point range. Shawnee State hit 26 of 68 from the field (38.2%), five of 22 from 3-point range.

E.J. Onu led Shawnee State with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. James Jones scored 17 points. Donovan Carlisle scored 11 points.

Fewer than 10 players have 10 or more blocked shots in the tournament.

Bethel was led by Clifford Byrd II with 16 points. Jaylon Scott scored 10 points with 10 rebounds. Nick Bonner and Bryant Mocaby each added 10 points.

Scott finishes the season with 19 double doubles, 48 for his career.

Bethel jumped to an 11-8 lead in the first five minutes of play. Bethel took a 20-17 lead on a Bonner 3-pointer with 9:31 remaining in the first half. Shawnee State replied with an 8-0 run, broken by a shot by Bonner with 59 seconds left in the half. Neither team scored in the remaining time, keeping the Bears ahead 25-22 at the half.

Bethel trailed by nine with under nine minutes to play, but came back to take a one-point lead on a Tavaughn Flowers 3-pointer with 7:01 remaining.

Tied 51-51, Bethel gave up a 11-3 run. The Threshers got back to within five on a Flowers 3-pointer with 1:04 to play, but the Bears hit five of six free throws in the remaining time.

Shawnee State is 28-2 and plays Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Bears won their 24th straight.

Bethel ends the season 21-7.

The sole senior for the Threshers is Scott Garriga, who played in just three games this season. Under an NAIA ruling made because of the COVID-19 outbreak, seniors have an extra year of eligibility if desired.

BETHEL (21-7) — Jaylon Scott 3-11 4-5 10, Clifford Byrd II 5-15 4-6 16, Tavaughn Flowers 2-9 0-0 5, Kevon Green 0-5 0-0 0, Jordan Neely 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Gouro 2-5 0-0 4, Harper Jonas 1-3 0-2 2, Bryant Mocaby 3-9 2-3 10, Nick Bonner 3-9 3-3 10, Jalyn Todd 1-5 0-0 2. TOTALS 20-71 13-19 59.

SHAWNEE STATE (28-2) — E.J. Onu 11-21 5-6 29, Kobie Johnson 1-3 1-2 3, Jakiel Wells 0-6 2-2 2, Donovan Carlisle 4-10 2-2 11, Latavious Mitchell 0-2 0-0 0, Tre Beard 0-0 0-0 0, Issac Abergut 1-2 0-0 2, James Jones 7-14 2-2 17, Amier Gilmore 1-4 0-0 2, Miles Thomas 1-6 0-0 3. TOTALS 26-68 12-14 69.

Bethel;22;37;—;59

Shawnee St.;25;44;—;69

Total fouls — BC 12, SSU 17. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — BC 6-29 (Byrd II 2-4, Flowers 1-6, Green 0-3, Jonas 0-2, Mocaby 2-7, Bonner 1-5, Todd 0-2), SSU 5-22 (Onu 2-8, Johnson 0-2, Wells 0-2, Carlisle 1-4, Abergut 0-1, Jones 1-1, Thomas 1-4). Rebounds — BC 46 (Scott 10), SSU 49 (Onu 10). Assists — BC 8 (Flowers 6), SSU 15 (Jones 4, Thomas 4). Turnovers — BC 16 (Byrd II 3, Scott 3), SSU 15 (Jones 5). Blocked shots — BC 1 (Scott 1), SSU 12 (Onu 10). Steals — BC 9 (Scott 4), SSU 7 (Carlisle 2, Thomas 2). Officials — Robert Dowling, Jacob Hirz, David Egge.