The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 8, 2013

Bethany opens UMAC season with big win

MANKATO — The Bethany Lutheran men’s basketball team won just two games during the nonconference portion of this season’s schedule, but that didn’t bother BLC too much.

It was a tough slate of games for the Vikings, one that they hope sets them up for another strong run in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, which they won last season.

“Nonconference was pretty tough, really tough, actually,” senior guard Deon Wright said. “We had good chances to win most of those games.

“But it was an eye-opener. We could see where we were and where we needed to be.”

On Tuesday at the BLC gym, the Vikings opened UMAC play against rival Martin Luther College and put that earlier experience to use with an 85-49 victory.

Wright, who was celebrating his birthday, scored 14 points with five steals, three assists and three rebounds.

 Three other players reached double-figure scoring totals for Bethany: Garrett Benson (13), Gavin Kroehler (12) and Derek Peterson (11). Peterson also had five rebounds and five assists.

“Our nonconference schedule did help us so much,” Bethany coach David Balza said, referring to several games against the Minnesota and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences. “It showed us our deficiencies. We got to spend the last three weeks shoring those up and watching film.”

The Vikings put Tuesday’s game away in the first half, outscoring the Knights 47-20. They compiled eight of their 15 steals in the first 20 minutes. Benson also finished with five steals, all in the first half.

“All week, coach has been drilling into us … deflections, deflections, deflections,” Wright said. “Deflections lead to steals, and steals lead to baskets.”

A 13-0 run midway through the half but the Vikings up 24-9. When the defense loosened up, Balza called a quick timeout, and Bethany came out of it to see Wright score nine straight points for his team, including a 3-pointer and four free throws for a 35-13 lead.

“He came in with the idea that, ‘It’s my birthday,’” Balza said. “He was our best defender.”

A pair of late 3-pointers by Benson led to the 27-point halftime advantage.

Bethany was 11 of 29 (37.9 percent) from 3-point range for the game, making six in the first half. The Vikings forced 20 turnovers while committing just eight.

 The Knights were led by Galen Holzhueter, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. Justin Eternick scored 10 points and had seven rebounds.

 Bethany (3-8, 1-0 in UMAC) plays again Friday at North Central. Martin Luther (1-11, 0-1) plays Friday at Northwestern.

Text Only | Photo Reprints


Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Oakland Raiders To Become San Antonio Raiders? - @TheBuzzeronFox Jack White throws first pitch for hometown Tigers LeSean McCoy explains how Chip Kelly has helped his productivity Chicago Cubs win longest game in team history Will Browns have enough without Gordon? Byron Scott: 'This is still a Lakers town' Anderson Silva To Return To UFC, Face Nick Diaz - @TheBuzzeronFox Bills Legend on Bon Jovi's Bid: "F-ck Bon Jovi" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Settlement sets new standards for NCAA Possible MLB trades before deadline 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Byron Scott Reportedly New Head Coach Of Los Angeles Lakers - @TheBuzzeronFox