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Bonner leads Bethel men to first win of season
In a low-scoring game, the Threshers found their first victory in Oklahoma City.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — On Tuesday night the Bethel men’s basketball team took on Mid-American Christian in Oklahoma City, Okla. for its third contest of the season. In its lowest-scoring game yet, it beat the Valors 51-49 after a second-half kick.
Bethel made another change in their starting lineup as they finally had Carmelo Yakubu on the court, who replaced Miguel Vojtova in the lineup at point guard.
“It was good to see Melo back out there again for us,” head coach Jayson Artaz said. “Melo would be the first guy to tell you he didn't play his best game and I think he was forcing a little bit this time, but this game will help him settle in and be better the next time out.”
The first lead of the game for the Threshers came in the final seconds of the first half when Brayden Schilling tipped in a missed Nick Bonner shot to bring them up 29-28.
Jalyn Todd, who was back in his hometown for the contest, led Bethel in the first half with nine points and was a perfect four for four from the field.
“Our conference doesn’t really touch Oklahoma except Oklahoma Wesleyan so I never get to play in front of the people that helped me get to the position I’m in today,” Todd, an Oklahoma City native, said. “Getting to play well where I was born was an honor and a privilege.”
To start the second half, the Valors went on an 11-0 run to bring themselves away from the Threshers. Bethel went on a 20-4 run in which they shot 75% from the three-point line. The Threshers were able to keep their lead for the remaining eight minutes, by making needed free throws, to eventually win their first game of the season 51-49.
Bonner was once again a prominent role in the box score for Bethel as he led the team with 13 points with nine of those points coming from the three-point line. “My teammates and Artaz trust and put me in sports to be successful but I believe we have so many weapons that any of us can go off at any time,” Bonner, a senior from Derby, said.
Schilling is making himself known on the court as he added eight rebounds. Harper Jonas picked up five steals in the contest and Todd gained three more blocks to his season total of six.
“Schilling has been great for us this year,” Artaz said. “His effort on the defensive end and his rebounding has been awesome to see. I am especially happy to see his success because I know how hard he has worked to get here. With our lack of depth and size, he has been a huge part of what we have done.”
Throughout the game, Bethel brought down 16 offensive rebounds and scored 16 second-chance points off of those. The Threshers shot just 29% from the field, 22% from three, and 70% from the charity stripe. They tallied up nine steals on top of 43 rebounds while giving up 15 turnovers.
The Threshers will be back in action on Friday and Saturday as they host the Bethel Classic in Thresher Gym. Bethel will take on Peru State at 7 p.m. on Friday and William Woods, for the second time in this early season, at 5 p.m. on Saturday.