LEAVENWORTH — Maybe this will be the kick-start to their season the Bethany College men need.
The slumping Swedes outlasted Saint Mary 88-80 on the road Tuesday to improve to 2-5 in the KCAC after being picked in the Top 3 in the preseason.
It was a 40-all game at the half, but the Swedes had the hot hand in the second half with nearly 50 points.
Gary Jones’ 27 points topped the Swedes and Jonathan Gidson added 20. Larry McLin and Chavez Jackson, who has emerged from nowhere the last two games, scored 12 apiece.
Grant Greenburg led Saint Mary with 26 points. Like Bethany, the Spires have been a huge disappointment with a 2-5 KCAC record after being picked in the Top 3 with the Swedes.
“This was a great road win after after a very lifeless start," said Bethany coach Clair Oleen, whose team was behind 18-8 early. "From the 10-minute mark on of the first half, we defended pretty well for the last 30 minutes. We gave up too many offensive rebounds, but we were pretty efficient offensively."
Bethany, now 5-8, plays Friday and Saturday in the Johnson and Wales Classic.
• SAINT MARY WOMEN 64, BETHANY 60, OT — Bethany appeared to be headed for a nice win, but Saint Mary stormed back by outscoring the Swedes by eight points in the final period, then by four in the overtime.
Adriane Davis’ 22 points led the Swedes while Kimi Lindshield added 18.
Bethany is now 1-6 in the KCAC, 4-9 overall.
The Swedes host Haskell on Friday, then go to Kansas City on Saturday for an exhibition game against UMKC.