OKLAHOMA CITY — No Cody Harris, no victory for the Bethany College men.
Without their potential All-American candidate due to a sprained ankle, the Swedes fell 90-77 on Friday to Mid-America Christian University, its second win over the Swedes this season as it completed the series sweep.
The Swedes actually were more competitive in this game than the one at Hahn Gym. It was just 40-38 at the half, but Mid-America came out on fire early in the second half and built up a double-digit lead.
“Game-by-game we are getting better as we continue to get better each day in practice,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. “Our defense is getting better, rebounding is getting better and our offensive execution is getting better. If we make our free throws and finish our shots at the rim, we would have a road win over the No. 10 NAIA Division I team in the country. We still have work to do molding this team and building the culture we need and want to have."
Gary Jones scored 21 points to lead the Swedes, while Larry McLin supplied 14 and Jonathan Gidson added 11.
Bethany is now 2-3 on the year. It plays an exhibition game tonight against NCAA Division II member Oklahoma Baptist University that doesn’t count toward its record.
• BETHANY WOMEN 79, BACONE 68 — In the first round of the York Classic in Nebraska, the Swedes came away with a 79-68 victory over Bacone for their first win of the year. An earlier win against Doane College recently was forfeited because of a technicality.
“I'm really proud of our second-half effort on defense and on the boards,” Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. “We also played a lot smarter on offense by not just taking the first open look that presented itself. We forced Bacone to play our style in the second half and it eventually wore them down to the point where we were able to make a run and put the game away. We still have a lot of improvement to make as evidence by our 27 turnovers and giving up 14 offensive rebounds, but we made some positive strides tonight."
Scoring machine Adriane Davis as usual led the Swedes with 20 points, while Tiffani Jackson came off the bench for 13. Joleen Chanco and Dominique Davis also were in doubles with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Swedes will try to finish Classic play 2-0 when they take on Oglala Lakota College this afternoon. On Thursday, they open KCAC play with the big rivalry game against Kansas Wesleyan at Salina.