Mishawaka, Ind. — The offense ran as smooth as ice for the Pilots, as they moved to 2-0 in the Crossroads League and 7-1 overall with a win over Mount Vernon Nazarene University 96-78, Tuesday night at the Wiekamp Athletic Center.

 

Bethel mounted a 17-point lead at halftime, 52-35, behind a whopping 66% shooting from the field. Chikara Tanaka and Nathan Aerts each had 11 points by the intermission for the Pilots.

 

The lead would swell in the second half to as many as 23 points as a layup by Aerts gave Bethel a 62-39 lead. Mount Vernon would eventually narrow that lead to just 12 points at the 4:57 mark, but the Pilots pulled away down the stretch.

 

Drew Lutz, who was relatively quiet in the first half, scored 14 after the break to finish with 19 points overall to match Aerts for game-high honors. Aerts was most efficient on the night, canning 9 of his 11 shots, while snaring 6 boards to go with his 19 points.

 

Tanaka continued to make his presence known, posting another double-double with 16 points, and 10 assists. Brandon Hunt added 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the winning effort.

 

For the game, the Pilots shot 58% from the floor and outrebounded the Cougars 43-23. Bethel also won the game in the paint, outscoring MVNU 46-30.

 

Bethel will face another test when they travel to NAIA 14th-ranked Marian University on Nov. 30 with the opening tip set for 7:00 p.m.

 

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

  • Bethel took 10 three-pointers in each half, knocking down 9 of 20 for the game (45%).
  • The Pilots scored 46 of their 96 points in the paint.
  • Bethel scored 18 second chance points; while the Cougars scored just 6.

 

NEXT TIME OUT

  • Bethel will travel to NAIA #14 Marian University on Nov. 30 at 7:00 p.m. You can catch the game live at rrsn.com/watch.