LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s basketball teams were hoping that their sweep of McPherson College on Thursday was the firestarter of big things to come.
Apparently it wasn’t.
The Swedes lost two more games at home on Saturday, the men 85-75 and the women 64-60 as again they were right there, but just couldn’t get over the hump.
• STERLING MEN 85, BETHANY 75 — Again, the Swedes’ faulty defense did them in as it’s been a season-long problem.
Bethany, giving up more than 90 points a game, was led by Jonathan Gidson with 17 points, one more than Larry McLin. Little-used Chavez Jackson made a statement for playing time by making 5 of 7 3-pointers for 15 points and Ian Merzwinski had his best game of the year with 10. Gary Jones, coming off 35 points against McPherson, was just 3 of 12 and scored eight.
Inside players Terrance Boyd and former Derby High star Josiah Ray overpowered the Swedes on the inside. Both scored 20 points and Boyd also ripped down 17 rebounds. Former Buhler Crusader Brandon Givens rained four 3-pointers and scored 14, while Maurice Williams came off the bench with 11.
Sterling led 42-36 at the half, but busted it open to lead by as many as 17 late in the second half.
The Swedes, after being picked in the upper echelon of the KCAC in the preseason, are now 1-5 in conference play and 4-8 overall. They play their final pre-Christmas conference game on Tuesday at Saint Mary, then have games Friday and Saturday in the Johnson and Wales Classic.
• STERLING WOMEN 64, BETHANY 60 — Bethany had a great chance to make it two wins in a row, up 58-57 late, but Sterling standout Hailey Davis scored five quick points to seal the Swedes’ fate.
It was a tough loss for Bethany, now 1-5 in the KCAC and 4-8 overall. Adriane Davis led Bethany with 21 points and Joleen Chanco scored 11. Davis scored 14 for Sterling.
It’s a busy week coming up with the final KCAC game before Christmas Tuesday at St. Mary, then games Friday and Saturday against nationally ranked Haskell and UMKC (exhibition). The Haskell game will be at home, the UMKC game in Kansas City, Mo. Haskell is nationally ranked.