Kevin Jackson scored five of his team-high 19 points in the final minute to help Bethany hold off a wild second-half comeback and edge Washington & Jefferson, 72-69, Saturday afternoon in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference regular-season finale at Hummel Field House.
The win was the eighth in a row for Bethany (14-2, 21-4), which won the PAC’s regular-season title and clinched the top seed and home-court advantage for this week’s conference tournament.
W&J (8-8, 13-12) trailed by 17 points early in the second half before putting together a 33-13 run over a 12½-minute stretch that netted the Presidents a 60-57 lead with 7:11 remaining.
Bethany took the lead for good at 64-62 on a jump shot by Leslie Addy with 2:47 left. The Bison led 69-62 after a three-pointer by Jackson with 42 seconds to play, but W&J made one final surge. A basket by Nate Bellhy and two free throws by Mitch Locher made it 69-66. Jackson sank two free throws to push the lead back to five points, but Bellhy answered with a three-pointer that drew W&J to within 71-69 with six seconds left.
Delonte’ Joyce made one of two free throws to make it 72-69 and W&J’s Doug Johnson missed a desperation three-pointer as time expired.
Bellhy led W&J with a game-high 22 points. Locher gave the Presidents a lift off the bench by scoring 16 points, and Johnson had 15 points coming on five threes.
Addy scored 19 points for Bethany, Joyce had 15 and Lawrence Weldon scored 11.
W&J will open PAC tournament play as the fifth seed and will be at fourth-seeded Waynesburg (9-7, 14-11) in the quarterfinals Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Wash & Jeff 75, Bethany 64: Chelsea Apke led four Washington & Jefferson players in double figures with 20 points and the Presidents cruised to a 75-64 victory over host Bethany in the regular-season finale.
The teams will meet again Tuesday (7 p.m.) at Henry Memorial Center in the quarterfinals of the PAC tournament. W&J has won 10 of the last 12 games against Bethany.
W&J (13-5, 18-7) led 40-27 at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field.
Alexa DelGreco scored 13 points, and Valerie Dunlap had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Dunlap also had two blocked shots to become W&J’s career leader with 135.
Beka Bellhy scored 12 points for the Presidents.
Taylor Verrico had a game-high 19 points for Bethany (6-12, 7-18).
Waynesburg 94, Chatham 45: Waynesburg had 15 players score as the Yellow Jackets rolled to a 94-45 victory over host Chatham.
Waynesburg (12-6, 14-11) shot 62 percent from the field for the game and scored 51 first-half points.
Brooke Simons led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points, and Hayden Giuliani and Courtney Sargent each had 10. Waynesburg will open PAC tournament play Tuesday in the quarterfinals at Westminster (12-6, 15-10) in a game matching the fourth and fifth seeds. The Titans received the No. 4 seed by sweeping the season series with Waynesburg.
Emily Schmidt (Ringgold) led Chatham (2-16, 3-22) with 12 points and eight rebounds.