Bison hold off Carnegie Mellon in overtime, 72-67

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Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director

BETHANY, W.Va. (Nov. 22) – The Bison earned a 72-67 overtime win over Carnegie Mellon in non-conference play at the Hummel Fieldhouse Tuesday evening.

The Bethany men's basketball team improves to 3-0 overall, while the Tartans fall to 1-2 this season.

Carnegie Mellon held a 57-56 lead with nine seconds left when freshman forward Chaice Truex (Wheeling, W.Va./St. John Central) hit the glass for an offensive rebound and put it back in with contact. Truex converted the free throw for the traditional three-point play to put the Bison ahead 59-57 in the final seconds.

Tartan guard Ryan Maha pushed the ball up court and drained a pull-up jump shot to tie the game at 59-59 with four seconds on the clock, forcing a Bethany timeout. Carnegie Mellon stole the ensuing full court inbound pass and a last second half court heave by Carnegie Mellon rang in and out of the basket to send the game into overtime.

Bethany opened up a 69-63 lead with 53 seconds remaining in overtime, when Maha made a three-pointer to slice the Bison advantage in half. Following a Bethany turnover and foul, Carnegie Mellon split a pair of free throws to pull within two, 69-67, with 34 seconds left in the extra session.

The Green & White nearly turned the ball over on its next possession, but a Tartan foul with 17 seconds left sent senior guard Antonio Rudolph (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) to the line, where he split two free throws to push the Bison lead back to three, 70-67.

Maha's step-back three pointer to tie the game with seven seconds left caught the rim, and junior guard Andrew Williams (Oil City, Pa./Oil City) hit a pair at the line to seal the Bison's 72-67 win.

Truex, the reigning Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Rookie of the Week, registered his first-career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds off of the bench. Davis scored a team-high 16 points and added six board (four offensive), while Rudolph and Williams each tallied double-digit totals with 13 and 10, respectively.

Carnegie Mellon held the advantage early on and established its eventual biggest lead of the game on a Thomas Cook three-pointer three minutes into the game to take a 9-6 lead. Bethany went on a  to score 10-straight points, capped off by a layup by junior forward Chris Harris (Brecksville, Ohio/Broadview Heights) to make the score 16-9 with 13:04 remaining in the first half, forcing a Tartan timeout.

Bethany pushed its lead to eight, 19-11, following a three-pointer from junior guard Calique Jones (Pittsburgh, Pa./Obama Academy), but a quick 9-4 run by Carnegie Mellon pulled the Tartans within one possession at 23-20 with just over six minutes until halftime.

The Green and White rebuilt its lead heading into the break, out-scoring the Tartans 12-5 down the stretch to take a 35-25 lead into halftime.

A layup by Jones two minutes into the second half built the Bison lead to 39-27, its largest of the game, before Carnegie Mellon began its comeback. The Tartans, aided by the cold shooting of the Bison, chipped away and took its first lead since the 17-minute mark of the first half at 55-54 with 3:15 left in the game. A pair of free throws by Maha pushed the lead to three at 57-54 with 1:56 on the clock, before a layup by Truex sliced the lead to one, 57-56, heading into the final minute of regulation.

Both team's worked the ball inside, as neither could establish any rhythm from beyond-the-arc. Bethany held a 46-to-34 advantage in points in the paint. Carnegie Mellon shot 4-for-16 (25 percent) from long distance, while the Bison turned in a 3-for-20 (15 percent) outing.

Bethany hits the road for another non-conference tune-up when it faces perennial-power Marietta on Sunday, November 27 at 7 p.m.