LINDSBORG — Jonathan Gidson’s last-second 3-point attempt wouldn’t go down as Avila University held off Bethany College 75-73 in the Swedes’ basketball season opener on Saturday at Hahn Gym.
The game was tied at 73-all when Avila’s Eric Adams was fouled with 1.9 seconds to go. He made both free throws for the win. Gidson quickly got a look at the game-winner, but it hit off the rim.
Bethany fell behind 13-2 at the outset and spent much of the night clawing back into contention. The Swedes were within 32-27 by halftime.
“Our slow start was a disappointment," Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. "Credit Avila for taking the fight to us at the start. But our aggressive pressure defensively was not at the level that we want. Turnovers and missed free throws hurt us as well as giving up open 3s. There are certain aspects of the game we just have not worked on enough yet. We will all take a lot from tonight’s game to learn, work and get better.”
The Swedes had four players in double figures, including three newcomers who were the leaders. Gary Jones led the way with 17 points, Gidson added 15, Cody Harris scored 13 and returnee Larry McLin scored 12.
Brandon Murillo led Avila with 20, Brad Gard scored 17 off the bench and Sedrick Johnson furnished 17.
The Swedes play Friday at Oklahoma Christian.
• Dakota Wesleyan women 84, Bethany 44 — At Crete, Neb., during the second day of the Doane Classic, it continued to be a struggle for the Swedes as they have been routed in all three of their games so far.
“The first half was our worst of the season, which is saying a lot based on our first two games," Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. "But after an emotional talk at halftime, we came out in the second half, finally held a team to less than 30 points in one half and at least held our own on the boards. We need to make sure that as bad as our first two and a half games have been, we take something positive from the second half of the Dakota Wesleyan game and begin to build on it."
Adriane Davis led the Swedes, who trailed 56-18 at halftime, with 18 points and Royce Shields scored 12.
The Swedes play at York, Neb., on Friday.