LINDSBORG — The Bethany College men scrambled the KCAC basketball race by handing Friends its first conference loss of the year on Wednesday.
An amazing 25-0 first-half run propelled the Swedes to a 73-69 victory at Hahn Gym, leveling Bethany’s KCAC record at 2-2 and dropping the Falcons to 3-1. Southwestern is now the only undefeated team left after just four conference games.
After Friends jumped out to an 11-3 lead to start the game, the Swedes reeled off the next 25 points. The Falcons, down 20 at one point in the game, charged back at the end, but the first-half deficit was too much to overcome as Bethany led 37-25 at the break.
Guards Tyler Larkin and Thomas Hood scored 20 and 16 points, respectively, to lead Bethany.
The KCAC’s leading scorer, Jordan Murdock, was as good as advertised as he powered his way to 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Bethany is 5-6 overall as it now has won back-to-back games.
• Friends women 75, Bethany 72 — The Friends women also came into the game perfect in the KCAC, but they managed to escape despite an amazing night by Swede transfer Lauren Welsch.
The former Great Bend Panther funneled in 21 first-half points and finished with 33. In fact, had it not been for her in the first half the Swedes would have been in dire straits as they trailed 38-28.
Marissa Pope chipped in with 11 points for the Swedes.
Bethany is now 1-3 in the KCAC and 5-6 overall.
Both Swede teams are home on Saturday to take on Ottawa.