LINDSBORG — There’s no doubt about it now. The Bethany College men are indeed for real.
The run-and-gun Swedes once again destroyed a KCAC foe with their freakish athleticism and smoking-hot shooting as they raced past Tabor 102-86 Saturday night at Hahn Gym to finish the first week of KCAC play with a 2-0 record.
The Swedes averaged 100 points during the week.
Jordan Bieberle, a former Bishop Carroll star, led the Swedes with 29 points as he made 8 of 13 shots from beyond the arc in a jaw-dropping display of marksmanship. Idris Ibn Idris had his usual night with 23 points. Kirby Hawkins continues to lead the race for KCAC 6th Man of the Year with 21 more points off the pine as three Swedes scored more than 20. Vincent Roybal also had his best game of the year with 14 points and Jamelle Hays grabbed eight rebounds off the bench.
“We've got several guys who can score," Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. "Look at Kirby sitting on the bench the whole first half and when Biebs is on, that certainly helps us. He did take one or two I didn't like, but Biebs is a very smart player and that's why I'm more disappointed when he does something unintelligent because he doesn't do that very often.”
Tabor, which was picked ahead of the Swedes in the KCAC, received 30 points from D.J. Biggs.
The Swedes raced to a 53-41 halftime lead as they made eight 3-pointers and there was no letting up as they appear to be on a mission to prove they were picked far too low in the KCAC preseason polls.
Bethany, now 6-3 overall, must vacate Hahn Gym for the first time in KCAC play Thursday when they play at Ottawa, always one of the toughest places to play.
• Tabor women 76, Bethany 53 — Tonisha Dean scored 20 points to lead Tabor to the conference victory and drop the Swedes to 0-2 in the KCAC, 2-8 overall.
Bullet-quick guard Nikki Lewis added 14 points and Janelle Rust furnished 13.
Heather Eddings posted up for 11 points to lead the Swedes and Alex Brammer added 10.
Tabor led 37-27 at the half.
“For the first 18 minutes of the game, I thought we did a good job of following the game plan," Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. "But give them credit for knocking down some shots and putting together a late run that sent them into halftime with a 10-point lead. I think that double-digit lead gave them a lot of confidence to start the second half while at the same time taking away some of our momentum. They are a tough matchup for us and once the lead built up to 15 points in the second half, we had to play man-to-man and we just couldn't keep them off the boards and off the free throw line.”
The Swedes will be looking to end a seven-game losing streak when they play Thursday at Ottawa.