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BISON AIM FOR SECOND UPSET SATURDAY AGAINST #14 THOMAS MORE
BETHANY, W.Va. – After taking down the 20th-ranked team in the nation earlier this week, the Bethany women’s basketball team will strive for their second upset in four days when they host #14 Thomas More Saturday at 2 p.m. in Hummel Field House.
The Bison (7-9, 3-4) led nearly the whole way in vanquishing #20 Washington & Jefferson 66-61 Wednesday night. BC was in front 38-27 at halftime and after weathering a storm that saw the Presidents take a brief one-point lead, answered back with a 15-6 spurt to regain control and go on to the upset. Sophomores Kelly (15 points) and Stacy (10 points) Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) combined to go 6-for-7 from the arc in the win, while senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) notched 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Two impressive numbers stand out from the win over W&J. The Bison defense limited the Presidents to 39.7 percent shooting, the second-lowest of the season for W&J. Bethany also held a 42-37 advantage on the glass over a President team which was outrebounding foes by an average of 8.5 coming into the game. In addition, it raised BC’s record to 7-3 this season when they grab more boards than their opponent.
The victory was Bethany’s third in a row in conference play following a 0-4 start and elevated them into a five-way tie for third place at the midway point of PAC play. In addition to the Bison, Grove City, Thiel, Waynesburg and Westminster all stand at 3-4. With the top four teams in the league getting home games in the quarterfinal round of the PAC Tournament, the stretch run figures to be closely contested all the way to the finish.
Thomas More (14-2, 6-1) was a beneficiary of the Bethany upset, as they went back into a tie with W&J for the top spot in the conference. The Saints closed out their first half of the PAC slate with a 68-59 home win over Saint Vincent Wednesday. It was the closest win of the year for TMC, who trailed 54-39 with 11 minutes to play against the Bearcats. Thomas More erupted for 18 consecutive points, eight from center Nicole Dickman, and finished the game with a 29-5 run. Dickman led all scorers with 25 points, while Alex Gee fired in five triples for 16 points.
Dickman is the main threat inside for the Saints, as she ranks third in the conference in scoring (15.4), sixth in rebounding (7.3) and first in field goal percentage (67.5). Jayme Thiem, last year’s PAC Player of the Year, is right behind Dickman in scoring at 14.1 and leads the PAC in free throw percentage at 89.0. One other league leader for TMC is Gee, who has buried 42 three-pointers and is third in three-point accuracy (45.7).
The multi-faceted Thomas More attack was paced by Thiem when the Bison traveled to Kentucky for the first match-up Dec. 3. She compiled 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists and three others reached double digits in an 86-59 Saints win. Bethany, who was led by Kelly Goode’s 10 markers, did force 22 turnovers, the third-highest total by TMC this season.