BETHANY BEGINS PAC TITLE CHASE TUESDAY VS. GROVE CITY
Feb. 21 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball has earned the #4 seed for this week’s PAC Tournament and will host #5 Grove City Tuesday night in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal match-up at Hummel Field House.
The Bison (13-12, 8-8) moved up to the fourth seed and earned a home game by defeating Washington & Jefferson 65-58 Saturday. After losing an eight-point halftime lead, Bethany needed a 16-4 run over the game’s final five minutes to pick up the victory. Senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) notched her second double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) had 12 points and nine rebounds and junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) scored all 11 of her points in the second half.
This is the sixth time in the last seven years Bethany has earned a home game in the PAC quarterfinals. Being on friendly soil hasn’t always meant success for BC, who is 2-3 in those first round playoff games with wins over Waynesburg in the 2007 (65-61) and 2009 (68-63) first round games. One of the Bison losses came at the hands of Grove City in 2008, which is the only time the teams have played in the conference playoffs since 2004. However, that’s the only win for GCC in the tournament at Bethany, as BC is 4-1 all-time against the Wolverines at Hummel Field House.
The all-time series between the teams is very close, with Grove City holding a 30-28 advantage and they have split their regular season meetings each of the last three seasons. In this season’s match-ups, Christine Slater netted 28 and Allison Wells scored 18, as GCC scored the final seven points for a 66-59 win at Bethany Jan. 6. In the rematch at Grove City Feb. 5, BC sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) went 4-for-5 from the arc and scored 20 and Harris chipped in 19 markers and 11 boards to lead the Bison to a 69-65 triumph.
The Wolverines (13-12, 8-8) finished the regular season with wins in three of their final four games, including a 61-57 triumph over Westminster Saturday. Slater posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds and Wells tossed in 12 points, as Grove City improved to 13-2 this year when they put 60 or more points on the scoreboard.
It has been a huge senior year for Slater, who leads the conference in scoring (18.9) and now has 1,600 career points, eighth-most in PAC women’s basketball history. Also putting in double figures is Leah Gibson with 12.3 points per game. They will try to lift the Wolverines to the semifinals for just the second time in the last six years and first since the ’08 campaign.