Jan. 9 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Junior Susannah Cartland (Harvard, Ill.) scored a season-high 20 points to lead five players in double figures, as the Bethany College women’s basketball team raced to a 23-point second half lead and held off a late challenge from Saint Vincent (Pa.) College to record a 99-88 win Wednesday.
The 99 points is the third-highest total ever scored in a single game by the Bison, who are off to their best start since the 2003-04 season with a 6-5 record. The Bearcats fell to 3-9 with the defeat.
The game more resembled a track meet from the start. The first of four three-pointers in the first half by freshman Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) moved BC in front 11-6. Saint Vincent answered with a 10-4 run, capped by Maria Baroffio’s three-point play, to take a 16-15 advantage with 12:50 to go before halftime.
That proved to be the Bearcats final lead of the game, as Bethany ripped off 16 of the next 19 points to seize control. Goode buried two more triples during the blitz and Cartland and freshman Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) each had a pair of buckets, as BC surged in front 31-19. The Bison offense continued clicking on all cylinders from there, as they went on shoot 55 percent (22-40) in the opening half in building a 51-37 advantage.
In helping Bethany record their highest point total in a first half since they scored 54 in a win over Guilford (N.C.) College early in the 2002 season, Goode topped Green and White scorers with 12, while Cartland dropped in nine. Saint Vincent’s Janelle Reed fired in 13 to lead her squad.
The Bison offense stayed on the attack early in the second half. Two more baskets by Cartland highlighted a quick 8-0 spurt that swelled the BC cushion to 65-43. A few minutes later, junior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) hit a lay-up which gave Bethany their biggest lead of the night at 71-48.
Bethany’s lead was still 23 with just under seven minutes to play when Saint Vincent made a huge push to get back into the contest. They outscored the Bison 24-9 over the next five minutes to trim the deficit to 88-80. SVC guard Laura Klimchock spearheaded the charge by notching 14 points, including eight consecutive to bring the Bearcats within eight.
However, the Bison offense was too much on this night. The lead was pushed back into double digits by a pair of free throws from Kelly Goode, as BC wrapped up the win by scoring 11 points in the final 1:37 to finish the 99-88 triumph. It was the most points scored by a Bison team since a 102-63 rout of Waynesburg late in the 1999 season.
The Bethany record for points in a single game was set during the 1991-92 season, when BC crushed Lincoln 103-42.
The Bison offense was as balanced as it was potent. Cartland came off the bench to convert 8-of-12 attempts from the floor for 20 points, while also sharing top rebounding honors with seven. The Bethany bench, which accounted for 49 of the team’s points, also had McCormick in double digits with 16. Highlighting the scoring from the starting five was Kelly Goode with 18, Harris with 13 and seven rebounds and senior Lisa Mitchell (Burgettstown, Pa./Avella) with 10.
Other key contributors in the victory were junior point guard Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic) with five assists and freshman guard Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami), who finished with seven points, five assists and seven steals.
For Saint Vincent, Kilmchock’s big finish helped her tally 28, while Reed totaled 26 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Baroffio rounded out the team’s high scorers with 14.
The Bison head back into PAC competition Saturday when they journey to Grove City (Pa.) College for a 1 p.m. tip-off. Bethany will be trying for their fifth consecutive victory over GCC, who fell to 3-9 overall and 0-4 in the PAC with a 61-46 setback to league leader Thomas More Wednesday.