Feb. 17 - PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite having four scorers reach double digits, the Bethany College women’s basketball team fell by a 71-62 count Wednesday night at Chatham.
With the loss, the Bison, who dropped to 7-17 overall and 4-9 in the PAC, missed a chance to clinch the fifth seed for next week’s PAC Tournament. The Cougars snapped a six-game losing streak and improved to 8-16, 3-10 in the PAC.
A three-pointer by sophomore Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) started a quick 7-0 spurt by the Bison and then a three-point play by freshman Taylor Kress (Sharpsville, Pa.) gave BC a 19-15 lead midway through the opening half. Chatham answered back with a 17-4 surge, keyed by seven points from Courtney Smith, to take a nine-point advantage. Back-to-back treys from Wilson and junior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) brought Bethany back to within 34-29 going into halftime.
Another Harris three and a lay-in by sophomore Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) sliced the Cougar lead down to 36-34 early in the second half. Chatham used another big run to seize control of the game, as they tallied 13 of the next 15 markers, with six coming from Kayla Hilko, to swell their lead up to 49-36. Bethany spent the rest of the night trying to get back into the game but couldn’t get the deficit into single digits until there were two minutes left. Then the Cougars, who were 20-for-24 from the free throw line in the contest, went 6-for-8 in the final minute to clinch the victory.
Leading the Bison’s quartet of double figure scorers was Wilson, who finished with 14. Sophomore Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) notched 11 of her career-high tying 13 in the second half, while Hackathorn tossed in all 11 of her points after the break. Kress rounded out the top scorers with 10 markers.
The Cougars were paced by a pair of forwards, as Brittany Brown finished with 19 and Hilko chipped in with 18.
Heading into the regular season finale against nationally-ranked Washington & Jefferson at home Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Bison need a win or a loss by Chatham against Thiel to earn the sixth seed. That would give them a trip to Grove City for the PAC Quarterfinals next Tuesday. If Bethany loses to W&J and Chatham defeats Thiel, then BC would fall to the seventh seed and travel to W&J for Tuesday’s opening round of the PAC playoffs.