Pilots Jump All Over Falcons, Win in Home Opener

Mishawaka, Ind. – The Bethel College Pilots men’s basketball won on the Gates Gymnasium floor for the first time this season, outpacing the Simmons (Ky.) Falcons. The Pilots have not lost a home opener since 1978-79.


  • Score:  Bethel def. Simmons 98-61
  • Records:  Bethel (2-0) | Simmons (0-2)
  • NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: Bethel – No. 22 | Simmons – not rated
  • Location: Wiekamp Athletic Center | Bethel College | Mishawaka, Ind.



  • Gage Ott: 20 pts, 8-9 fg, 3 reb, 1 blk
  • Trey’von Covington: 18 pts, 5 reb, 3 stl
  • Ryan Lutz: 11 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
  • Grant Gayler: 14 pts, 7-7 ft, 4 reb
  • Paul Forman: 11 pts, 8 reb



  • After giving up the first two points of the game, the Pilots raced out to a 21-9 advantage and led by as much as 20 in the first half. The Pilots used a 16-2 run to open the second half to put the game away with a 59-30 lead with 16:52 remaining. The Pilots largest lead stood at 48 points (91-43) with 6:41 left.
  • Gage Ott moved into 52nd place on the career scoring list with 1,097 points, passing Mark Lettinga (’05-09) who had 1,092 for his career.
  • The Pilots shot 57.1% from the field, their first time over 50.0% on the season, a mark they hit 22 times last season.
  • Four Pilots saw their first action of the season tonight: Ryan Lutz, Dominic Genco, Trey Burns, and Matt McCown.
  • The Pilots have never lost a home opener in the Wiekamp Athletic Center, running their streak to 20 straight since it opened in 1998. The last time the Pilots lost a home opener was Nov. Nov. 16, 1978 against Olivet Nazarene (102-79).



  • “Tonight was another good test for us. We are continuing to learn who we are as a program. We are a team that needs to play to our standards, not to our competition. Regardless of who we play, we need to show up and execute both sides of the floor. I was disappointed in how we handled ourselves as a team, both offensively and defensively. It was a great learning experience for our young guards to face that amount of pressure for 94 feet. There is still lots of room for growth with this group.”



  • The Pilots travel across town on Friday to take on the No. 13-ranked University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in an exhibition game at Purcell Pavilion. Game time is set for 7pm.