Notre Dame, Ind. – The Bethel College Pilots men’s basketball opened up their 2017-18 season with a grind-it-out, defensive battle and came away with a 62-49 win over Holy Cross on Monday. Ryne Lightfoot earned his first career win in his heads coaching debut, two games sooner than his father Mike earned his first win.


  • Score:  Bethel def. Holy Cross 62-49
  • Records:  Bethel (1-0) | Holy Cross (1-1)
  • NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: Bethel – No. 22 | Holy Cross – not rated
  • Location: McKenna Arena | Holy Cross College | Notre Dame, Ind.


  • Gage Ott: 16 pts, 7-10 fg, 7 reb, 3 blk
  • Trey’von Covington: 12 pts
  • Kyle Hartman: 6 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast
  • Paul Forman: 5 pts, 4 reb


  • The Pilots never trailed, jumping out to a 15-5 lead five minutes into the game, and extending their lead to as many as 16 with 8:50 remaining in the contest.
  • The Pilots held the Saints to 25.4% from the field, their best defensive effort since Nov. 10, 2012 when they held Indiana Dabney to 22.2% from the field.
  • The Pilots outrebounded the Saints 48-35, the seventh time they’ve hit that mark since the beginning of last season.
  • Head Coach Ryne Lightfoot recorded the first win of his career. He is only the third coach in 41 seasons for the Pilots, following his father Mike Lightfoot (1987-17, 794-285) and Homer Drew (1976-87, 252-110).


  • “Great team win tonight. We really set the example of what we are capable of on the defensive end. We will continue to have more guys step up to add depth and consistency from our bench. I’m proud of the effort they played with. Great to have our first game under our belt as we head into a busy week of basketball.”


  • The Pilots return to the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Mike Lightfoot court for the first time in 2017-18 tomorrow evening, Tuesday, at 7pm against Simmons (Ky.)