BETHANY COMEBACK COMES UP SHORT IN 84-72 LOSS TO MEDAILLE
March 3 - BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team nearly erased a 25-point second-half deficit, but the rally came up short in an 84-72 loss to top-seeded Medaille (N.Y.) College Saturday in the ECAC South Region Semifinals at Moravian (Pa.) College.
The setback ends the Bison’s season with a 17-12 record, their highest win total since 2003-04. This was also the first postseason appearance for the program since that same year and BC’s victory in the quarterfinals was the first postseason win since 2002 and initial victory in four trips to the ECAC Tournament.
Bethany scored the opening hoop of the game, but the Mavericks (23-5), who were runners-up in the AMCC regular season and Tournament, answered back with 14 consecutive points. The Bison would get back within 10 at 28-18 on a trey by senior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs), but Medaille ripped off a 10-0 run and would carry a 41-23 lead into halftime.
The Mavericks knocked down 50 percent (8-16) from the arc in the game and used their three-point shooting to take their largest lead of the game midway through the second half. Triples by Meghan Dougherty, Joelle Pollak and Emily Brophy helped extend the top seed’s advantage to 66-41 with nine minutes to go in the game and Medaille seemed poised to move into Sunday’s title game.
Over the next six minutes, the Bison would make a furious attempt to keep their season going. The Green and White outscored the Mavericks 27-7 over that span and a lay-up by senior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) brought BC within five at 73-68 with 2:35 to play. Wilson ignited the run with nine straight points and senior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) fueled the back half of the surge with eight points.
Two foul shots from junior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) answered a Medaille basket to keep the deficit at 75-70 with 1:33 to play. However, the Bison would run out of time, as the Mavericks clinched the win at the foul line, making 7-of-8 in the final 47 seconds to finally put the game out of the Bison’s reach.
Bethany put four scorers in double digits, led by Taormina, who made 9-of-12 from the foul line en route to scoring 22 points and she also grabbed nine rebounds. Hackathorn recorded her sixth double-double of the season and third in the last four games by notching 18 points and 14 rebounds. Shepherd compiled 16 points, six rebounds and four steals and Wilson dropped in a dozen markers and passed out four assists.
The game was also the final one as Bison for senior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central), who had three points and four assists, and senior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson), who played 10 minutes and blocked a shot.
Two Mavericks recorded double-doubles in the win, led by Tanisha Travis with 22 points and 11 rebounds and Pollak with 19 markers and 10 boards.