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BETHANY WOMEN HOST WAYNESBURG IN PAC QUARTERFINAL TUESDAY
Feb. 23 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The road to the PAC Championship begins Tuesday night for the Bethany women’s basketball team when they host Waynesburg in a conference quarterfinal contest at Hummel Field House. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.
The Bison (14-11, 8-6) earned the third seed for the playoffs after winning 10 of their final 12 games. BC had a seven-game winning streak snapped Saturday with a 93-77 loss at #21 Washington & Jefferson. Bethany trailed by as many as 20 in the first half before rallying to take a one-point lead shortly before halftime. W&J bounced back to lead 44-41 at the break and pulled away from the Green and White in the second half for the victory. Senior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) scored a career-high 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the loss.
This is the sixth consecutive season Bethany has earned a home game in the opening round of the PAC Tournament. The Bison are 7-4 at Hummel Field House this season and if they win their eighth home contest Tuesday, it would be their highest total since going 12-2 in 2003-04. Home has not been as friendly as Bethany would like in the tournament recently, as they’ve lost three of their last four quarterfinal games, including a 71-68 setback to Grove City a year ago. The last time the Bison moved on to the semifinals was in 2006 when they dropped Waynesburg 65-61.
Tuesday night will be the rubber match between the schools after they split the regular season meetings. Back on Dec. 6, Waynesburg escaped Hummel Field House with a 57-52 victory behind 19 points from Callie White. McCormick had 11 in that game for the Bison, who shot just 13 percent (2-16) from the arc and 46 percent (6-13) from the foul line.
Bethany earned their revenge Jan. 28 with a 69-56 triumph in Waynesburg. After leading by just three at the break, the Bison scored a then-season high 43 second half points to claim the win. Senior Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic) and sophomore Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) dropped in 13 each for BC, while White and Elisha Jones tallied 16 apiece for the Yellow Jackets.
While the Bison bring a wave of momentum into the postseason, sixth-seeded Waynesburg (8-17, 4-10) is fighting through a rough stretch. They lost their last three regular season games by an average of 21.3 points, including a 71-42 defeat at home to Chatham on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets fell behind 33-21 by the break and couldn’t recover, as they shot just 31 percent (16-52) in the game. Jones finished with 18 points to lead all scorers.
Waynesburg has struggled to find a rhythm offensively all season long. They rank eighth in the conference in scoring (54.7), last in field goal percentage (34.8) and have been held under 50 points in 10 contests. The Yellow Jackets do boast two of the top 10 scorers in the league in Jones (fifth at 14.5) and White (10th with 12.6). Waynesburg does a solid job taking care of the basketball, as they are third in the circuit with just 17.0 turnovers per game, although they turned it over 40 times in two games against Bethany this season.
Other PAC Quarterfinal games Tuesday include #1 Thomas More (23-2, 13-1) hosting #8 Chatham (11-14, 3-11), #2 W&J (22-3, 12-2) entertaining #7 Westminster (8-16, 4-10) and #4 Grove City (11-14, 7-7) taking on #5 Thiel (10-14, 5-9). The highest remaining seed after Tuesday will host the PAC “Final Four” over the weekend, with the semifinals to be Friday at 6 and 8 p.m. and the title game to tip-off at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.