WICHITA — The Bethany College men, for all intents and purposes, eliminated the Friends Falcons from the KCAC title picture Thursday night with a 69-54 victory at the Garvey Center.
Bethany is now 11-4 in the KCAC, still tied with Saint Mary for second, with both teams a game back of 12-3 Tabor. Friends is now 9-6 with three games left to play.
The Swedes, whose defense has nearly been the most porous in the KCAC, won the game on that end of the floor, holding Friends to under 30 points in both halves.
Bethany led only 31-29 at the half as the game was played at Friends’ methodical pace.
Four Swede double-figure scorers did nearly all of the offensive damage. Cody Harris led the way with 20 points, followed by Jonathan Gidson with 15, Nathan Coleman with 14 and Gary Jones with 10.
Bethany, 19-7 overall, now hosts Tabor in the big one on Saturday at Hahn Gym. The Bluejays can clinch no worse than a tie for the title with the win and would sweep the season series, giving it the tiebreaker over the Swedes.
Bethany (69) — Harris 20, Coleman 14, Jones 10, Smith 6, Gidson 15, Huskey 4.
Friends (54) — Johnson 14, Baxter 8, Anderson 7, Scott 5, Williams 3, Singhateh 9, Carter 3, Morrow 3, Sponsel 2.
• Friends women 71, Bethany 62 — The Falcons, who had lost three straight and four of five, got well against the Swedes, who are now 2-13 in the KCAC and 3-24 overall.
Bethany hung tough with the Falcons most of the game, being outscored by only one in the second half after trailing only 35-27.
Adriane Davis led BC with 18 points, one more than Royce Shields. Joleen Chanco added 10. Kayla Mollere had a monster game for Friends with 18 points and 19 rebounds.
Bethany hosts KCAC leader Tabor on Saturday.
Bethany (62) — Davis 18, Shields 17, Chanco 10, Shetlar 2, Jackson 8, Davis 4, Cleveland 3.
Friends (71) — Mollere 18, Barto 8, Ptacek 7, Sanders 5, Hines 2, Boyd 14, Rose 13, Torres 3, McMullen 1.