Pilots win Crossroads League Tournament title - Mar 3, 2017
In what would be Head Coach Mike Lightfoot's last game in the Wiekamp Athletic Facility the No. 3 ranked Bethel College Pilots defeated the No. 5 ranked Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats to capture the 2017 Crossroads League Tournament Championship 83-75 Tuesday night. This is the first tournament championship for the Pilots since 2014. The Wildcats started things early trying to control the tempo and jumping out to a 5-2 lead within the first few minutes of the game. In the next three minutes of the game, the Pilots responded by going on a 15-5 run to take a 17-10 lead with 13:44 left to play in the first half. The Pilots continued to extend the lead during the first half gaining as much as a 12-point advantage, but the Wildcats refused to go away quietly. Indiana Wesleyan finished the first half on a 15-6 run to cut the Pilots lead just three at the half (42-39). The Pilots headed into the locker room shooting 45.9 percent from the field (17-of-37) and 40.0 percent from behind the arc (4-of-10). Senior Jordyn Coon (6'2''-G) led all scorers at the break with 10 points, going a perfect 3-of-3 from the field, which included a pair of triples. Caleb Oetjen (6'0''-PG-94) and Paul Forman (6'8''-F) both added eight points apiece, while Trey'Von Covington (6'1''-G) went 2-of-2 from behind the arc to add six points for the Pilots. The Wildcats headed into halftime shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the three-point line. Oetjen led the way for the Pilots early in the second half with a steal and two made lay-ups to give BC a seven-point lead with 18:30 left to play. Once again, the Wildcats responded with an 11-4 run to tie things up at 50 with 16:40 left in the game. Over the next few minutes, both teams continued to fight back and forth, with the Pilots unwilling to give up the lead but the Wildcats clawing at their heels. With 2:40 remaining to play in the game, the Pilots found themselves up by only one point, but a foul on the Wildcats sent Ott to the line, who converted on both attempts to give the Pilots a three-point lead. The next possession senior guard Nick Kindig (5'11''-PG) came up with a key steal giving the Pilots the ball and after another Wildcat foul the Pilots once again found themselves at the foul line. Paul Forman (6'8''-F) connected on both attempts to take a five-point lead with 1:31 left to play. The Wildcats attempted to fight back but could not convert on their remaining key possessions, giving the Pilots their ninth Crossroads League Tournament championship in Bethel history. In the last 2:40 in the game, the Pilots connected on 7-of-9 free throw attempts to help secure the win down the stretch. Bethel College also out rebounded the Wildcats 46-26 on the night, pulling down 14 offensive rebounds to IWU's six. The Pilots finished the night shooting 49.2 percent from the field and just 33.3 percent from behind the arc. Jordyn Coon (6'2''-G) finished the night with 18 points connecting on 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 behind the three-point line. Forman recorded his second double-double in a row with 16 points and 13 rebounds going 6-of-12 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Oetjen also added 16 points on the night on 8-of-11 shooting while pulling down four rebounds and dishing out six assists. Gage Ott (6'7''-F) finished the night with 12 points going 5-of-9 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
Crossroads League Tournament Final: Bethel - Indiana Wesleyan 83-75 Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals: Bethel - Spring Arbor 110-100 Indiana Wesleyan - Saint Francis 73-70
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