Normally, a player who scores 50 points in a basketball game is on the winning team.
Unfortunately for Kansas Wesleyan's Canon Fields, that wasn't the case Thursday night in front of a raucous Swede crowd, as the Bethany men up-ended Kansas Wesleyan University 87-78, clinching a berth in the KCAC postseason tournament.
The Swedes played with a spectacular intensity to start rattling off a 9-0 run over the course of the opening three minutes of play. Kansas Wesleyan finally managed to get on the board at the 16:52 mark off a pair of Michael Johnson free thows, but Bethany's Jordan Bieberle immediately responded with his second of what would end up being seven three-pointers in the ball game.
The Coyotes would finally start shaking off the Swede haymaker by the 13 minute mark, as Canon Fields would spark an 11-3 KWU run, bringing his team back into the fight and beginning his push towards the 50 point mark.
The two teams would trade blows for the remainder of the half, with Kansas Wesleyan enjoying a 40-34 lead at the half, thanks mainly to more opportunities at the foul line and Fields' Herculean effort, scoring 20 points in the first period.
Neither team had an advantage in the early stages of the second half, with both defenses preventing the offenses from getting any solid looks at the bucket.
KWU (8-19, 5-12 KCAC) would manage to finally get the scoring going, thanks to Fields, and extended their lead to 47-39 at the 14:34 mark, but a pair of 5-0 runs at towards the middle of the half would have the Swedes right back into the ballgame.
Bethany would trail until Jason Mihalcin hit a pair of free throws with 8:37 left to give the Swedes the lead back.
Both teams would still battle back and forth for the next several minutes, but Bethany would start to pull away in the final two minutes, building their lead at one point to 13 points before the Coyotes cut it down to 11.
Bethany (11-14, 7-10 KCAC) finished shooting 27-of-60 from the floor, putting up 9-of-21 from three-point range and 24-of-35 from the foul line. The Swedes won the rebounding battle 42-39 and turned the ball over 13 times to Kansas Wesleyan's 14.
Bieberle led the Swedes with 32 points, while Idris Ibn Idris picked up a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards. Mihalcin added 14 and Trey Beachum had 10 points for the Swedes.
Bethany travels to Sterling Saturday evening to wrap up the regular season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Kansas Wesleyan (78) — Brinker 2-10 1-3 5; Johnson 1-5 2-2 4; Fields 18-29 8-11 50; Borovetz 3-16 0-0 7; Hidalgo 2-5 3-4 7; Long 1-1 0-0 2; Pasold 1-5 0-0 3.
Bethany (87) — Idris 3-12 10-12 16; Beachum 5-13 0-1 10; Bieberle 8-12 9-10 32; Dodson 3-5 0-0 6; Abad 2-4 1-4 7; Marrero 1-4 0-0 2; Mihalcin 5-6 4-6 14.