Feb. 1 - CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team only trailed Thomas More by eight at halftime, but the Saints scored 49 second-half points to pull away for an 85-52 victory Wednesday night.
The loss broke the Bison’s three-game winning streak and drops their records to 12-8 overall and 8-5 in the PAC. Thomas More remained in first place in the conference with the win and now stands at 16-4 and 12-1 in the league.
The first half was a tale of Bethany’s balanced scoring against the Saints’ starting backcourt of Katie Kitchen and Allison Long. The duo scored eight during a 14-3 spurt that took a one-point TMC lead to 26-14 with 5:39 to go before halftime. The Bison struck right back with nine consecutive points and trimmed the deficit to a basket on a jumper by sophomore Ty Harris (Wintersville, Ohio/Indian Creek) with two minutes left.
The Saints built momentum going into the break when Kitchen scored twice and Long hit a lay-up at the buzzer to push the TMC lead to 36-28 at the intermission. Kitchen and Long combined to tally 23 points in the first half, but Bethany stayed close thanks to eight different players hitting for scores.
Thomas More notched six of the first eight points in the second half, but the Bison made it an eight-point game again following back-to-back hoops by seniors Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park). The Saints began to pull away with an 8-0 run to take their lead to 16 and didn’t look back from there. The home team would shoot 52 percent (17-33) in the second half and Bethany committed 15 turnovers and made just 1-of-12 from the arc.
The Bison offense had just one reach double digits in senior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) with 10 points. Shepherd finished with nine markers and Hackathorn scored eight and grabbed a team-best six rebounds.
Thomas More was sparked by Kitchen with 23 points and five steals and Long with 19 points, while Katie Kees turned in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Bethany will return home for its next game, as BC hosts Washington & Jefferson Saturday at 2 p.m.