The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

November 24, 2013

Victory slips away from Bethany in final 2 minutes

MANKATO Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Japanese DotsText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color— Up 2 with two minutes to play, the Bethany Lutheran men’s basketball team needed to make some shots or get some stops.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, they got neither.

“I felt like today, a lot of the tips and bounces and rolls didn’t go our way,” Bethany coach Greg Holzhueter said. “You need to get stops when the ball isn’t dropping. It’s another learning experience for a young team.”

The Vikings lost 76-72 to Concordia Chicago in a nonconference game Saturday at the Sports & Fitness Center.

The Vikings held the slim lead in the final two minutes but couldn’t close the game. Making only 10 of 23 free throws didn’t help, a surprsing stat since the team had made 23 of 28 free throws in the first two games.

“That’s not normal for us,” senior Jacob Wensmann said. “I know I missed too many. But we’re a good free-throw shooting team.”

In the first half, Rodney Pierce-Tyler provided some early spark. Through the first two games, Pierce-Tyler hadn’t done much, with four points and four rebounds in only 13 minutes, but he provided some quick offense Saturday, hitting consecutive 3-pointers to lead 13-8.

Concordia Chicago answered with an 18-9 run over the next five minutes, but the Vikings closed the half on a 22-8 run for a 44-34 lead. Pierce-Tyler had 13 points and five rebounds at the break.

“Rodney has a lot of skill, and he’s a mismatch for a lot of post players,” Holzhueter said. “Our two posts got into foul trouble, and he stepped up. He took advantage of his opportunity to show us what he can do.”.

Concordia Chicago erased the halftime deficit in the first five minutes of the second half and led 55-50 at the 10-minute mark.

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