Jan. 24 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team rolled to a 61-50 victory over Saint Vincent College on Sunday afternoon. The Bison completed their first sweep over the Bearcats since the 2007-08 season, winning the previous contest this year, 73-56.
The visiting Bearcats (8-9, 3-7 PAC) started the game with a quick 9-2 run to take an early lead with 7:52 remaining in the opening frame.
Bethany (8-9, 6-4 PAC) roared back to take the lead (11-9) at the 4:45 mark with a 9-0 run of their own, sparked by Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) who scored five points during the run. Holenka finished the quarter with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The two teams exchanged baskets over the remainder of the quarter as the Bearcats emerged with an 18-16 lead aft the end of the first.
The Bison defense stepped up in the second quarter, only allowing six points as they held Saint Vincent to 20% shooting (3-of-15).
Freshman Ashley Duthie (Madison, Ohio/Madison) caught fire to give the Bison offense a boost, scoring six straight points to start off the second quarter (22-18).
The Bearcats responded by scoring two quick baskets before Maclaine Murad (Bridgeport, Ohio/Bridgeport) extended the lead back to four (26-22) with a three from the top of the key.
Duthie then knocked down another deep three and Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) converted a layup as the Bison went up 31-22 with 1:53 remaining in the half.
Bethany added to their lead as Daugherty managed to grab an offensive rebound and get fouled with just .3 seconds left on the clock. The sophomore hit both free throws to give Bethany a nine-point advantage (33-24) at the break.
Bethany opened up the second half with a 4-0 run to increase the lead to 37-24.
The Bison extended their lead to as much as 16 in the quarter as Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) finished strong in the paint for the basket.
Bethany led 47-33 after the Bearcats scored right before the horn sounded to conclude the third period.
Saint Vincent managed to pull within nine at the 5:48 mark, but that was as close as they would get. Holenka responded with a quick three to push the lead back to double-digits. The junior guard later sealed the game with a minute remaining as she took a pass from Tipton and hit another triple to make it 61-46.
Tipton and Kelsi Settle (Sebring, Ohio/Sebring) each recorded a team-high five assists as the Bison assisted on 17 of their 21 field goals.
Holenka led the Green & White with 21 points as she knocked down five threes in the contest. Daugherty and Duthie both chipped in 12 points as well.
The Bison also controlled the glass, out-rebounding their opponent 52-42. Bethany rebounded by committee, with four players grabbing at least six rebounds. Settle and Daugherty each recorded nine boards, with Settle grabbing five of those on the offensive end. Duthie totaled eight rebounds, and Tipton added six boards.
Defensively, Bethany forced 17 turnovers and amassed nine steals. Holenka led with three steals, while Daugherty and Settle added two, each.
The Bethany defense held the Bearcats at bay throughout the contest. Saint Vincent finished shooting 30.8% during the game, including just 19% (4-of-21) from distance.
Bethany will return to action on the road as they take on Geneva College on Wednesday, January 27 at 5:30 p.m.