BETHANY CLOSES OUT REGULAR SEASON SATURDAY AT SAINT VINCENT
Feb. 17 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will complete its most successful regular season since 2008-09 Saturday with a road game at Saint Vincent. Tip-off in Latrobe, Pa., is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Bison (15-9, 11-6) picked up a critical win Wednesday by defeating Westminster 63-56. Not only did BC equal its highest win total since going 15-12 three seasons ago, it also clinched the #4 seed and a first round home game in next week’s PAC Tournament. Trailing by four with less than six minutes to play, Bethany went on a 12-3 run, spurred on by a pair of threes from senior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and one each from seniors Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) and Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs), to take the lead for good and go on to the victory.
Five Bison finished the game with 10 or more points, highlighted by four seniors. Wilson, who has averaged 19.5 points in the last two games, hit for a team-best 16, while Droginske tallied 12 points and passed off a season-high seven assists. Shepherd’s big triples helped her post 11 points and senior forward Katelynn Hackathorn (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) nearly had a double-double with 10 markers and nine boards. Hackathorn also gave out three assists, just one game after supplying a career-high five helpers in BC’s victory at Thiel.
Due to the win Wednesday, Saturday’s game will not affect the Bison’s standing in next week’s PAC Tournament. The Green and White are locked in at the #4 seed and will get another match-up with Westminster, who is set as the #5 seed, Tuesday at 6 p.m. This game does carry significance for Saint Vincent, who needs a win to secure the #2 seed for the playoffs. A Bearcat loss, coupled with a Waynesburg victory at home against Washington & Jefferson, would drop SVC into the #3 spot.
Saint Vincent will take that second seed with a repeat performance from its first game with Bethany. Back on Jan. 20th, SVC shot 50 percent, while the Bison made only 29 percent from the floor in a 70-45 Bearcat victory. Scoring 15 points to lead Saint Vincent was Devin McGrath and Brittany Sedlock recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards. Bethany’s efforts were paced by Wilson and Hackathorn with 10 each.
The Bearcats (19-5, 14-3) missed a chance to potentially claim the top seed for the Tournament on Wednesday. Saint Vincent battled Thomas More down to the wire but came up short in a 68-59 setback, which clinched the #1 seed and hosting rights throughout the conference tournament for the Saints. Sedlock had a monster game with 26 points and despite forcing 23 TMC turnovers, Saint Vincent was out-rebounded 45-33 and could not make up a 24-5 difference in points fro the foul line.
An opponents’ high turnover total is expected when playing Saint Vincent, who is forcing a PAC-high 22.1 miscues a game and have harassed foes into 25 or more turnovers in eight contests. McGrath leads the Bearcats’ thieving efforts with a league-leading 3.17 steals per game and guard Melissa Mansur is third with 2.42. As a result, SVC is second in the PAC in points allowed at 55.6, while also averaging 70.5 on the offensive end. Sedlock, the defending conference Player of the Year, is having another outstanding season, as she leads the league in scoring (16.1) and rebounding (9.7). In addition to her work on the defensive end, McGrath is also posting 12.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.75 assists per game.
Fans that can not make the trip to Saint Vincent for the games can follow the action live from their home computer. Both the women’s and men’s games on Saturday will be video streamed live as the “Games of the Week” by the PAC Sports Network at http://www.pacstream.net/ .