Bison Complete Home Slate Saturday Against Saint Vincent
Feb. 8 -BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will play its final home in the 2012-13 season Saturday afternoon when it hosts Saint Vincent in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison clinched a spot in the PAC Tournament in their last outing, a 68-58 triumph over Chatham Wednesday night. Senior Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) scored 12 first-half points to help lift BC to a 13-point halftime lead and the Green and White held off a late Cougar charge to record the victory. Junior Taylor Verrico (right - Monaca, Pa./Quigley) led all scorers by matching her career-high with 21 markers, while Garneau finished with 18 and senior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards.
The win moved Bethany into a tie with Thiel for seventh place in the conference with matching 5-10 records. The two teams will battle the rest of the season to avoid the eighth-seed and a likely trip to #8 Thomas More in the opening round of the tournament. The Bison have a tough road ahead to finish the regular season, as they will play the top three teams in the league (vs. Saint Vincent, at Thomas More, at Washington & Jefferson). Thiel will play at Thomas More Saturday, but then travel to ninth-place Chatham Wednesday before closing the year at home versus Grove City.
If the Bison are to knock off Saint Vincent Saturday, they will need a bigger offensive output than the first time the teams faced off. On Jan. 5th in Latrobe, Pa., Bethany shot only 28 percent in a 58-46 loss to the Bearcats. Taormina, Verrico and Garneau (right) scored 12 points each, but Saint Vincent’s bench outscored BC’s 19-3. Leading the SVC effort was Devin McGrath with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Saint Vincent (17-5, 13-2) is on a roll entering Saturday’s tilt, having claimed seven straight victories by an average of nearly 27 points per game. The latest victory was a 79-42 demolition of Geneva Wednesday, which featured 11 three-pointers from SVC and a 51-34 rebounding advantage. McGrath posted a double-double with 10 points and 16 boards, while top scoring honors went to Taylor Mathers, who came off the bench to drop in 12.
While the Bearcats have no issues putting points on the board, as they average 68.1 per game, the team’s defense can drive the Saint Vincent efforts. Teams are shooting just 34.6 percent from the floor, the lowest in the league, and SVC is forcing 21.4 turnovers per game. McGrath is worthy of Player of the Year consideration, as she is averaging 15.3 points (fifth in PAC), 10.6 rebounds (first), 3.0 assists (sixth) and 3.0 steals (second). Five other Bearcats provide support by averaging six points or more per game, led by Elle Collins at 9.1 markers a contest.