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Bethany Tries to Get Back on Winning Track Wednesday at Chatham

Jan. 8 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to secure its first win of the New Year when it finishes a three-game road swing by playing at Chatham Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

7348Verrico12.jpgThe Bison (4-9, 2-4) dropped their fourth in a row Saturday with a 58-46 setback at Saint Vincent. After losing to the Bearcats by wide margins a year ago, Bethany stayed close with Saint Vincent until the end, despite shooting just 28 percent (16-57) for the game. Three Bison did manage to post 12 points apiece in the loss, including seniors Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) and Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) and junior Taylor Verrico (right - Monaca, Pa./Quigley).

Taormina will enter Wednesday’s game on the cusp of a career milestone, as her dozen points Saturday gives her 998 for her time as a Bison. With two more points, she will become the 16th women’s player in Bethany history to reach that milestone. She will also become just the second BC player in the last seven years to hit that accomplishment, as Anne Wilson finished her time in a Bethany uniform last year with 1,078 points. Prior to Wilson, the previous Bison to score 1,000 points was Jenny Place, who netted 1,178 from 2002-06.

3866Taormina12.jpgBethany has won 14 of the 16 meetings with Chatham all-time, including four straight. Taormina (right) played key roles in the Bison’s sweep of the season series last year, as she posted 12 points and 11 boards in a 72-48 victory on Chatham’s home floor. In the rematch at Bethany, Taormina erupted for 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 77-67 Green and White triumph.

The Cougars bring a 2-11 overall record into Wednesday’s match-up and a 1-5 mark in the league. They have dropped six of their last seven games, including a 61-27 defeat at Washington & Jefferson Saturday. Like the Bison had at Saint Vincent, it was a frigid shooting effort that doomed the Cougars, as they made only 8-of-49 attempts from the floor (16 percent) and also committed 28 turnovers. Forward Emily Schmidt scored a team-leading 10 points and also blocked four shots and forward Carly Zelenak hauled down 10 boards.

Turnovers have plagued Chatham all season, as they are committing a PAC-high 25.5 per game. The team’s leading scorer is freshman Rachel McClain, who ranks seventh in the PAC with 14.5 points per game. She has proven she can score in bunches, highlighted by 34 points, including a school-record eight three-pointers in a 74-41 win over Penn State-Altoona and 29 in an 83-71 triumph over Geneva. Guard Becky Rowe is another to watch on the perimeter with 21 threes and 7.6 points per game and Zelenak ranks fifth in the PAC with 7.7 rebounds per game.