SALINA—The Bethany College men's basketball team suffered a 85-71 loss at the hands of KCAC rival (RV) Kansas Wesleyan University on Tuesday night in Salina, Kansas. Tuesday's match-up was the first installment of the First Bank Kansas Smoky Hill Showdown this basketball season.

The Smoky Hill Showdown got off to a slow start for both teams. It took some time for both teams to settle into the contest but once they did the packed gymnasium saw a fast pace, back and forth battle. With about eight minutes left in the first half of the contest, the Swedes and Coyotes were tied at 9-9. For the remainder of the first half, both teams battled back and forth, exchanging baskets on both ends. The Coyotes took a five point led into halftime with a score of 33-28.

The Swedes would not give up and battled the whole second half to keep the contest within reach. For the first ten minutes of the second half, the Swedes were able to keep the score within 10 points. The Coyotes were able to convert a few key shots down the stretch to pull away from the Swedes. In the last two minutes, the Swedes were forced to send the Coyotes to the free throw line on multiple occasions. The Swedes battled until the final buzzer, but it was not enough to overtake the Coyotes who came away with the 85-71 victory.

Three Swedes were in double digits for scoring. Justin Jones, senior guard, and Isiah Sanez, junior guard, led the team with 16 points each. Dalton Smyres, sophomore guard, added 13 points to help the Swedes. The Coyotes won the battle on the board with a 38-31 advantage. Smyres had a team high 10 rebounds to pick up the double-double. Saenz and Baptiste Chazelas, senior forward, each added five rebounds for the Swedes. In the contest the Swedes shot 41.94 percent from the field and 24.24 percent from behind the arc. The Swedes converted 11 of their 18 free throws for a 61.11 percent from behind the line. This loss brings the Swedes overall record to 5-4

Up Next . . .

The Swedes are back in action after a short Thanksgiving break when the travel to Wichita on Dec. 2 to take on KCAC foe, Friends University. The game will start at 8 p m.