LINDSBORG — Clair Oleen’s mantra for his Bethany College men’s basketball teams in the past has been “Hard 40.”
In other words, he wanted his Swedes to perform hard on the defensive end for 40 minutes to make up for nights when the offense was not performing at normal efficiency.
But so far this season, the Swedes’ defense has yet to show up as they fell to 0-2 on Saturday with a 115-96 loss to nationally ranked Mid-America Christian.
Bethany has given up 107 points a game so far and even though it has a collection of highly acclaimed scorers, it hasn’t been able to overcome the defensive breakdowns.
Gary Jones led the Swedes with 18 points, one more than Cody Harris. Newcomer Joey Habtermariam showed he’s going to be an impact player with 16 points, including four treys, while Jonathan Gidson chipped in with 14, including 10 of 11 at the foul line.
Bethany got slammed on the boards as Mid-America had a whopping 52-35 rebounding advantage. The Swedes also had trouble with their handle, turning it over 21 times.
Bethany was down just 56-48 at the half, but Mid-America torched it for 59 second-half points.
The Swedes remain at home this upcoming week with a Tuesday game against Southwesetrn Christian and then a Saturday game with Mount Mary, before going on the road for a rematch with Mid-America Christian and then a game at Oklahoma Baptist, which always is strong.