MCU knocks off Bethel 87-70

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Mayfield, KY – Mid-Continent University (10-9, 3-2 TSAC) scored the first 13 points of the game and led by as many as 17 points in the first half and by as many as 26 points midway through the second half enroute to an 87-70 TranSouth Athletics Conference (TSAC) men’s basketball victory with over Bethel University (9-10; 1-4 TSAC), Thursday, January 21, at the Mayfield High School Sports Arena.

Next on its schedule, MCU travels to Henderson, Tennessee for a TSAC game at Freed-Hardeman University (10-7, 3-1 TSAC), Saturday, Jan. 23, at 4:00 p.m.

Four Cougars scored in double figures with senior reserve guard Joshua Woodley (Lake Worth, FL/Santaluces HS/Palm Beach CC, FL) hitting for 20 points, 11 in the second half, and 6 three-pointers and senior point guard Aaron Pearson (Baton Rouge, LA/Southern Laboratory HS/Cabrillo HS, CA) scoring a season-high 17 points, 9 in the first half, on 5 of 7 shots and 7 of 9 free throws and adding 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. Senior forward Keiran Nunley (Kent, WA/Kent HS/Riverside CC, CA) tied a season-high with 12 points and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds, blocked 2 shots and stole the ball twice. Senior reserve guard David Gratton (Jacksonville, FL/Sandalwood HS/Palm Beach CC, FL) added 11 points, 8 in the first half, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Senior guard Donovan Willis (East Orange, NJ/East Orange HS/Essex Comm. College, NJ) contributed 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Mid-Continent played the game without injured 6-8 senior All-TSAC center Kenny Thomas and 6-6 starting forward Sinisa Korkut (Serbia), who was serving a one-game suspension related to an ejection in MCU’s Jan. 18 game at Union.

Forward Donald Harris, Bethel’s leading scorer, led the Wildcats with 17 points, 3 three-pointers and 6 rebounds, and reserve guard Andre Crudup totaled 16 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Reserve guard Cameron Clemons added 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a blocked shot and 2 steals.

Woodley hit 3 three-pointers during MCU’s 13-0 game-starting streak in the first 2:46 and after Bethel sliced the lead to 6, MCU scored eight consecutive points and led 26-12 with 9:54 left and built the lead to 32-15 with 6:39 left. MCU led 39-27 at halftime after forcing 18 turnovers and stealing the ball 13 times.

In the second half, MCU expanded its lead to 26 points, 70-44, with 10:24 left in the game after a 17-6 run in a span of just over three minutes. Bethel later pared MCU’s lead to 11 points, 76-65, with 3:56 left but drew no closer.

MCU shot .441 from the field (30-68) for the game, made 9 of 21 three-pointers and 18 of 29 free throws (.621) and committed 17 turnovers, while Bethel shot .429 from the field (24-56), made 5 of 16 three-pointers and a low 17 of 31 free throws (.548) and committed 29 turnovers. MCU outrebounded the Wildcats by a 45-39 margin and stole the ball 18 times and blocked 5 shots.

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