WINFIELD — You just can’t take a night off in the KCAC and get away with it.
The Bethany College men learned that Thursday.
The Swedes lost an 84-80 verdict to second-division Southwestern, knocking them out of a first-place tie with Sterling. The Warriors’ game with Tabor was postponed Thursday when a fire broke out between games at the Gleason Center. It was quickly put out, but the game was called because of the smoke.
Bethany had a five-point lead with six minutes to play, but Southwestern went on a 22-13 tear to close out the game. The Moundbuilders have caught McPherson College for seventh place in the KCAC, though at this point the Bulldogs hold tiebreaker with the teams still having to play later in the season at Winfield.
Vincent Roybal and Kirby Hawkins led the Swedes with 17 points apiece. Idris IbnIdris, averaging 28 points a game, endured foul trouble all night and finished with just nine.
William Tisdale powered his way to 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Southwestern and Cameron Clark also had a double-double with 17 point and 11 rebounds. They are as good of a 1-2 punch as there is in the KCAC.
The Swedes are now 10-3 in the KCAC and tied with Friends for second place, both teams a half-game back of Sterling.
Bethany, 17-7 overall, hosts Saint Mary on Saturday. It’s the first of three straight home games for the Swedes, so this could be the time they gain some ground.
SOUTHWESTERN WOMEN 80, BETHANY 57 — It was first against worst, with first as expected prevailing.
The Moundbuilders are now 13-0 in the KCAC as they continue their quest for a perfect conference record. Bethany is now 1-12 and in grave danger of not qualifying for postseason play.
Bethany, 3-22 overall, received 11 points from Ashley Carey and 10 from Kaitlyn Norton. The Swedes have a great shot at getting into the win column Saturday when they host ninth-place Saint Mary.