The Pilots were hot from the start behind the shooting of Ryan Benner who finished with a team-high 16 points. Bethel College jumped out to an early ten point lead at 25-15 with 6:22 left in the first half. The Titans were able to cut the deficit to just four points before halftime as sophomore Kyle Heatherly nailed a 3-pointer as time expired.
Both teams battled in the second half and traded baskets throughout the final twenty minutes of action. With 7:43 left in the contest, the Pilots built a 50-43 lead. Two free-throws by Kyle Heatherly and a lay-in bucket for Henry Smith cut the deficit to just three points with less than 3 minutes to play.
In the final minute of play and the Pilots clinging to a three point lead, IU South Bend's Kyle Heatherly had a critical steal and went in for a lay-up to cut the lead to just one. A missed free throw by the Pilots set the stage for an exciting fifteen seconds of basketball.
As the clock ticked down, Brad Kunce grabbed the final of his team-high seven rebounds and muscled up the game winner in the middle of the lane and hit the go-ahead bucket with just six seconds remaining in the contest. The Pilots inbounded the ball and had a clean look at a desperation shot, but fell short as time expired.
Kyle Heatherly and Alanzo Bass played all 40 minutes of the contest and put forth a courageous effort. Heaterhly scored 14 points in the victory and teammate Bass did a solid job controlling the point and finished the contest with eight points and four steals.
The Titans last defeated Bethel College on December 19, 2007, in an overtime contest on the campus of Bethel College.
The IU South Bend men's basketball team will be back in action on Friday night when the host Kuyper College. Tip-time is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Student Activities Center.