The Bethel College Pilots took on the Mountaineers from Eastern Oregon University on Friday evening in the second round of the NAIA DII Men's National Championship Tournament and came away with a convincing 104-71 victory. The Pilots started with a 12-0 run to open the game and never looked back, securing a berth in the round of eight.
The Pilots took control of the game early, with seniors Jordyn Coon and Nick Kindig, and sophomore Paul Forman all assisting to a 12-0 start in the first 3:30 minutes of play. With 12:30 left in the first half the Pilots extended their lead to 20 (26-6).
At the half Coon led the Pilots with 14 points, while senior Clay Yeo came off the bench with 11 as Bethel headed in to the locker room up 60-31. For the half the Pilots pulled down 26 rebounds and hit a perfect 12-12 from the charity stripe. Bethel shot 63 percent from the field, connecting on 21-of-33 attempts, including 6-of-10 from behind the arc.
The Pilots held the Mountaineers to shooting just 26.5 percent from the field connecting on only 9-of-34 attempts while struggling behind the arc going 0-of-11.
The Pilots continued the second half where they left off before intermission, extending the lead to 33 (77-44) with 11:11 left to play in the game. The Mountaineers cut the lead to 29 with 9:09 left to play in the game, but were unable to get any closer as the Pilots responded by extending their lead to 39 (95-56) with 4:48 left to play in the game, the largest lead of the night. The Pilots got everyone involved as all fifteen players on roster saw playing time and BC came away with their 31st win of the season.
The Pilots ended the night shooting 56.3 percent from the field, connecting on 36-of-64 attempts, while shooting 42.1 percent from behind the arc, connecting on 8-of-19 attempts. Six different Pilots recorded double figures in the victory over EOU. Oetjen and Yeo led the way with the Pilots with 16 points each with Yeo ripping down nine rebounds, and Oetjen pulling down four rebounds, and dishing out three assists. Coon added 14 points on the night, knocking down 6-of-10 attempts while pulling down seven rebounds. Sophomore Luke Fisher and junior Gage Ott each added 12 points for BC, and sophomore Paul Forman finished the night with 11.
The Pilots held the Mountaineers to shooting just 34.8 percent from the field and a season low 13.8 percent from behind the three-point line. Eastern Oregon, who averages 11 made three's per game, finished the night shooting 4-of-29 from behind the arc.
The Pilots now advance to the round of eight and will play Saturday, March 10th, against the Bruins of Bellevue University (Neb). The last time the Pilots found themselves in the round of eight was in 2014. The Bruins defeated York College (Neb.) in the round of sixteen earlier on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. EST.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook (Facebook.com/BethelPilots), Twitter (Twitter.com/Bethel_Sports & @Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).