LINDSBORG — The Bethany College men's basketball team fell in its home opener Tuesday night to the Eagles of Avila University. A second-half surge by Avila gave the Eagles an 83-68 win over the Swedes.
Bethany kicked this one off with an early two-point basket by Keil Kelly. The Eagles then went on a small run to tie things up, followed by a five-point lead. However, Bethany did not let them run away, taking three minutes to get things tied back up.
From here, the Swedes worked to take a nine-point lead. However, the Eagles were there to chip away at that lead and tie the game up for the third time in the game. Avila would drain two quick buckets in the last minute of the first half to take a five-point lead into the locker room.
The Eagles would not give up the lead again in the game, scoring the first points of the second half. Avila would slowly grow its lead from there. While the Swedes would try to chip away, they were unable to catch up and keep up with Avila's offensive surge.
Senior Tyler Larkin was huge for the Bethany offense, easily leading the team with 30 points and three assists on the night. Freshman Ryan Wilson also had three assists in addition to his seven points.
Larkin aided the Swedes defense, leading the team with three steals and seven boards. A pair of Swedes — Wilson and Reed Stephens — each grabbed two steals, with Wilson also pulling down four rebounds.
As a team, the Swedes shot 41.3 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from behind the arc, compared to Avila's 50 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from long-range. The Eagles also recorded 19 second-chance points compared to Bethany's six.
The Swedes have a quick turnaround, hosting Baptist Bible at 7 p.m. Thursday.