Feb. 15 – BETHANY, W.Va. – With a 63-56 win over the Westminster Titans (8-15, 8-9) that came down to the final minutes, the Bethany College women’s basketball team (15-9, 11-6) clinched the #4 seed in next week’s Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Tournament.
The first half was highlighted early by the Titan offense, as they shot 46 percent from the field and remained in the lead after the first five minutes. Despite the Bison’s slow offensive start, the team managed to rally from an eight-point deficit with a 9-1 run that tied the game at 21-21. Westminster would score two of the final three baskets of the half to take a 25-23 lead into halftime.
Within two minutes of the second half, the Green & White gained only their second lead since the game’s opening minutes, as senior guard Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) was fouled on a made lay-up and then netted the free throw, completing the three-point play. The minutes to follow saw two tied scores and seven lead changes. The Bison, however, continued to stay hot at the line shooting 90.9% (10-11) in the half and turning Titan turnovers into points, as Westminster totaled 25 turnovers for the night.
With a 47-43 Westminster lead with just under six minutes remaining, the BC hot hand extended behind the arc. The next 12 points from the Bison were a pair of threes from senior forward Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and one each from Wilson and senior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) that pushed the Bison into the lead for good. A successful string of foul shots sealed the game for Bethany, as they finished with a seven-point advantage over the Titans.
Several Bison seniors shined on their Senior Night in Nutting Gymnasium, notching double digits in the point’s column. Wilson scored a team-high 16 points and totaled six steals on the night. Droginske followed with 12 points, Shepherd added 11 and senior forward Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) contributed with 10. Also providing key points down the stretch was junior guard Kayla Taormina, who netted 10 points while going 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
With the #4 seed in the Bison’s grasp, Bethany will host a PAC Tournament quarterfinal game on February 21st against an opponent still to be determined. However, BC must first travel to Saint Vincent (19-5, 14-3) on Saturday, February 18th, to close out their regular season. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
By Candace Pacheco Sports Information Student Assistant