LINDSBORG — After a January wobble, it appears the Bethany College men have found their footing again.
The Swedes, who started January with seven straight losses, are closing with a rush as they outlasted last-place Sterling 81-78 Thursday at Hahn Gym.
Bethany is now tied with Ottawa for sixth place in the KCAC standings with a 10-9 record as it appears they have a playoff berth sewn up. The Swedes closed within a game of .500 overall at 13-14.
Cody Harris led a balanced Bethany attack with 18 points. Joey Habtemariam (14), Khalid Washington (11), Tyler Larkin (11) and Ian Merzwinski (10) also were in double figures.
Bethany led by as many as 16 in the second half, but Sterling closed with a rush to make it interesting.
The Swedes, still considered very dangerous as they have as much talent as any team in the KCAC, head over to Hillsboro on Saturday to take on conference leader Tabor, which was upset on Thursday by Southwestern.
• STERLING WOMEN 75, BETHANY 64 — Bethany fell to 5-14 in the KCAC and 7-18 overall even though it gave the upper-division Warriors a battle.
Sterling is 12-7 in the KCAC and still has a chance to host a first-round playoff game if it can close with a rush.
Once again the Swedes were highly competitive, but an 8-0 run in just over a minute opened up some breathing room in the fourth quarter.
Tehya Peters’ 18 points led the Swedes, while Kimi Lindshield scored 13, and Samm Ashina and Syndey Ahaneku chipped in with 10.