HEARTBREAK REPEATS ITSELF IN NAIA FIRST ROUND
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Bethel College Pilots’ men’s basketball team fell in heartbreaking fashion for the second year in a row after holding a lead in regulation with under 30 seconds left, falling 83-81 in overtime to No. 4-seeded IU East in the first round of the NAIA DII Men’s National Basketball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
The Pilots could not hold a 73-71 lead in regulation and allowed the game-tying basket with seven seconds remaining in regulation and the go-ahead basket with three seconds remaining in the extra time. The Pilots lost in similar fashion to No. 4-seeded Oklahoma Wesleyan in last season’s opening round game, allowing the game-tying basket with 20 seconds in regulation before falling in overtime.
Trevion Crews recorded the third triple-double of his career with game-highs of 25 points, 15 rebounds (also a career-high), and 13 assists in the losing effort, while Paul Forman closed his career with his third-straight game of at least 16 points and 9 rebounds with 23 points and 9 rebounds.
Game Score:IU East def. Bethel 83-81 ot
Records: Bethel (21-11) | IU East (25-8)
NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: Bethel – No. 20 | IU East – No. 14
Location:Sanford Pentagon | Sioux Falls, S.D.
Trevion Crews – 25 pts, 15 reb, 12 ast
Paul Forman – 23 pts, 9 reb, 8-11 fg
Ryan Lutz – 14 pts, 4 reb, 4-8 3-pt
Luke Fisher – 10 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast
NEWS AND NOTES
Trevion Crews recorded the third triple-double of his career with game-highs of 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists. This is the first loss in program history where a Pilot has recorded a triple double. He now has 20 career games with at least 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, the most by a Pilot in program history since Rico Swanson (94-98).
The Pilots committed one shy of their season-high in turnovers with 18. The Red Wolves turned them into 20 points off turnovers.
The Pilots led by two with seven seconds remaining and IU East had the ball when an errant pass was tipped by Aaron Thomas and ended up in the net to tie the game at 73 and send it to overtime.
The Pilots had the opportunity for the last shot of overtime but Luke Fisher’s shot was blocked by Aaron Thomas and on the ensuing runout IU East laid it in with three seconds remaining to give them the final 83-81 edge.
Paul Forman ends his career with 1,380 points—34th in program history—and 641 rebounds—24th in program history. He also ranks in the top ten in free throws made and attempted with 468 made on 592 attempts, seventh and tenth in program history, respectively.
Trey’von Covington ends his career with 1,177 points, surpassing Wes Laidig (06-10) for 50th in program history.
Ryne Lightfoot drops his fourth straight postseason game through two seasons to start his career, going 0-4 in the Crossroads League and NAIA DII National tournaments combined, with an average margin of defeat only 7.2 points.
The Pilots end their season at 21-11 overall.