INDIANAPOLIS – The Bethel College Pilot men’s basketball team used an efficient offensive surge midway thru the game to open a large margin and relied on their defense and free throw shooting to close the game out late, in winning a pivotal Crossroads League clash at Marian. The Pilots earn the season sweep of the Knights to secure a postseason game in Mishawaka next week.
- Score: Bethel def. Marian 78-71
- Records: Bethel (21-8, 10-7) | Marian (19-10, 9-8)
- NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: Bethel – No. 16 | Marian – No. 35
- Location: Physical Education Center | Marian University | Indianapolis, Ind.
- Paul Forman: 25 pts, 8 reb, 11-11 ft
- Gage Ott: 12 pts, 5 reb, 2 stl
- Ryan Lutz: 16 pts, 9 reb, 5-8 fg
- Tanner Shepherd: 13 pts, 8 reb, 5-7 fg
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- The Pilots secured home-court advantage in the Crossroads League tournament quarterfinals, which begins next Wednesday. The Pilots are guaranteed to finish top four, as they sweep the season series with Marian to own any tie-breakers with the Knights.
- Gage Ott became the 17th player in program history to reach 1,500 career points and 600 career rebounds, with his five-rebound performance tonight. Ott sits at 1,523 points and 604 rebounds, 27th and 29th in program history, respectively.
- The Pilots used a 25-8 run spanning 8:15, which included the end of the first half and start of the second half, to turn a 31-31 deadlock into a 56-39 advantage with 13:21 remaining. The Pilots hit on 11-17 field goal attempts in the game-changing run.
- Luke Fisher scored the only two points off the bench for the Pilots, their season-low output for bench scoring this season.
- Forman has made 26-30 free throws over his last three games. The Pilots shot 21-22 (.954) from the line in the game, the fourth-highest percentage in a single game in team history.
COACH LIGHTFOOT SAYS
- “In a tough environment against a team playing some of their best basketball, I thought our guys battled for the majority of the game. We made their shooters take tough shots and challenged them around the basket. We didn’t care how we won or what it looked like, we just wanted to win! And today we did it on the defensive end.”
NEXT TIME OUT
- The Pilots return home for their final regular season home game, against No. 3 and Crossroads League-leading St. Francis. Tip-off is set for just after 3pm. The Pilots will be recognizing the four seniors on the roster, Gage Ott, Tanner Shepherd, Will Stueve, and Kyle Thompson, between the conclusion of the women’s game and the start of the men’s game.
- With a win OR a Mt. Vernon Nazarene loss, the Pilots will take the No. 3 seed into the Crossroads League tournament quarterfinals. With a loss AND a Mt. Vernon Nazarene win, the Pilots will own the No. 4 seed. Either way, the Pilots’ Crossroads League tournament opener will be played in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Wednesday, February 21 at 7pm.