Jan. 25 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team (8-9, 3-6) will play their fourth road game in their last five outings Wednesday with a trip to Waynesburg (13-4, 6-3) for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison surpassed their win total from all of last year and improved to 5-3 on the road this year with Saturday’s 56-45 victory at Westminster. After trailing by one at halftime, BC opened the second half with an 8-0 run and the Titans were never closer than three the rest of the way. Junior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) came off the bench to swish four three-pointers and finish with a team-best 12 points, while junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) totaled 11 markers and six boards.
Saturday was another busy day from the three-point line for Bethany, who was 7-for-32 in the contest. In addition to being the most three-point attempts this year, it was also the most tried by the program in more than eight years since 33 treys were hoisted in an overtime loss to Pitt-Greensburg Dec. 2, 2003. The Bison lead the conference in three-point makes (121) and attempts (363) and are third in the circuit in percentage at 33.3. Junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) leads the team with 29 triples and her 41.4 percent accuracy ranks second in the PAC, while Zogran is fifth at 37.5 (21-56).
Bethany’s defense also played a big role in the Westminster win. The 45 points was the fewest allowed by BC this year and the least amount scored by an opponent since the Green and White held Chatham to 29 in a victory Feb. 14, 2009. The Bison also forced 22 turnovers, including 11 in the second half which were converted into 11 points to help Bethany post their first win of the season when they trailed at halftime.
Waynesburg is carrying a lot of momentum into Wednesday’s game, as they are having their best season in quite some time. The Yellow Jackets won their third in a row Saturday by dispatching Chatham 61-43.It was just a three-point Waynesburg lead at the break, but they outscored the Cougars 35-20 in the second half for the victory. In addition to holding a 46-39 rebounding advantage, the Jackets also forced a season-high 27 turnovers. Four players notched double digits in the win, led by Jessi Drayer off the bench with 17, while Elisha Jones compiled 15 points and nine rebounds, Hannah Hunter dumped in 13 and Brittany Spencer finished with 10 markers and nine boards.
The Yellow Jackets have been one of the most fundamental teams in the league all season. They out-rebound teams by a margin of 7.4, the best in the league, and are also grabbing a conference-high 18.6 offensive rebounds per game. In addition, Waynesburg is committing a PAC-low 15.3 turnovers per contest. Jones does a lot of the damage, ranking third in the PAC in scoring (15.8) and fourth in rebounding (7.8), but the Yellow Jackets boast many threats. In addition to Jones, Hunter is putting up 12.9 points and 4.2 assists, Spencer is averaging 11.8 points and 7.4 boards a game and Drayer has made a big impact since transferring to the school in December with 9.5 points and 2.2 steals in 10 games off the bench.
The inside combination of Jones and Spencer was too much for the Bison when the teams first met Dec. 4. They both recorded double-doubles, as Jones tallied 21 points and 11 rebounds and Spencer recorded 11 and 11 in a 60-49 Waynesburg win. Although BC out-rebounded the Jackets 50-45, one of only four times Waynesburg has lost the battle on glass all year, Bethany shot a dismal 22 percent (14-64). Droginske was the only Bison to reach double digits with 14.