Behind a career night from senior guard Delonte’ Joyce (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis), the Bison men’s basketball team defeated Muskingum University, 77-57 evening.
The Muskies came out on a 6-0 run to open the contest. Logan Kimble scored four of Muskingum’s first six points, including a dunk to open the scoring, and the Bison trailed 6-0 withto play in the opening half.
Joyce then made his presence known over the next 15 minutes of the first half. With the Muskies continuing to keep the Bison at bay, Joyce carried the load for the offense. Muskingum couldn’t manage more than a five-point cushion in the half as Cody Seiler made a layup withto play to put the Muskies ahead, 14-9. Joyce countered the Muskingum attack by scoring 21 of the Bison’s 24 points, which included 19 points in a row over 14 minutes of action.
Joyce’s “old fashioned” three-point play withremaining in the first half gave the Bison their first lead of the contest, 26-24, and the Bison continued to roll from there. The Bison used a 14-point run to turn a four-point deficit (24-20) with to play, into an 11-point lead (35-24) on Joyce’s third three pointer of the half with to play. Muskingum would add a three of their own before the half, and the Bison would go into the locker room with an eight-point lead (35-27).
It was a half for the ages for Joyce, who scored 24 points in the first frame on 8-of-15 from the field.
In the second half, the Bison took complete control, as the Green & White outscored Muskingum 29-16 over the first 11 minutes of the frame. Joyce helped fuel the run, scoring eight points during the span. Darrian Bruster (Cleveland, Ohio/Cleveland Central Catholic) and Jeff Joynes (Baltimore, Md./Poly) also contributed to the run, notching six points each.
Alan Harper capped the run with a layup at themark, giving the Bison a 21-point advantage (64-43). Muskingum would make one final push, cutting the Bison lead to 14 points (68-54) with left in regulation. However, Bethany would respond right back with a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 23 points (77-54) with just left on the clock. The Green & White would then go on to take the victory, 77-57.
Joyce’s 34 points mark the highest point total for the senior guard in his career. It also marks the most points score by a Bethany player since Joe Testa dropped 35 at Thiel on February 3, 2010. The point total was also the most by a Bison in a victory since Lance Beckwith totaled 34 in a 79-68 overtime win over Washington & Jefferson on January 21, 2009.
Not only was Joyce scoring at will in the contest, but he did so efficiently, shooting 10-of-18 from the field, which included 3-of-4 from deep, while converting on all 11 of his free throw attempts. He also added five assists to his offensive totals.
Other offensive leaders for the Bison included Bruster, Joynes and Antonio Rudolph (New Castle, Pa./New Castle). Bruster finished the contest with a season-high 12, while Joynes and Rudolph pitched in with 10 each. It marked the fourth consecutive contest that Joynes has scored in double figures to open his Bethany career, while Rudolph’s ten was a season-best. Harper also played well, adding eight points off the bench.
Defensively, the Bison hounded Muskingum, holding the Muskies to 31 percent shooting in the contest, which included 21 percent (7-of-32) in the second half. As a team, the Green & White posted a season high 17 steals. It marked the most by the program since the team posted 18 in a 79-67 win over Waynesburg last season.
Joyce was a big factor on the defensive end as well, recording a season-high nine steals. It was the second highest steal total of Joyce’s career, finishing just one steal shy of tying his career-best which he set against Case Western on December 30, 2013.
The Bison will be back in action