Jan. 26 - WAYNESBURG, Pa. – Senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) scored a season-high 16 points, including the final five of the game, to lift the Bethany College women’s basketball team to a 63-59 victory at Waynesburg Wednesday night.
The victory was the Bison’s third straight on the road and improved their record to 9-9 overall and 4-6 in the PAC. The Yellow Jackets dropped to 13-5 for the year and 6-4 in the conference.
Bethany gradually pulled away through the first half and back-to-back scores from sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) and junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) gave BC their biggest lead of the night at 24-14 with 4:40 left in the half. The Yellow Jackets, led by seven markers from Jessi Drayer, went on a 14-4 spurt to tie the score, but Taormina sank two foul shots with nine seconds left to send Bethany into halftime with a 30-28 advantage.
Droginske opened the second half with a triple, but Waynesburg responded with a 10-0 run to take a 38-33 lead. Later in the half, a string of seven consecutive points, capped by a jumper from Brittany Spencer, by the Yellow Jackets extended their cushion to 48-39 midway through the period. Bethany would march back into the game with eight consecutive points, which started a 13-1 surge to give the Green and White a 52-49 lead with five minutes left.
The teams went back and forth down the stretch with two ties and two lead changes. The final exchange came around the two-minute mark when Spencer buried a trey for a 59-58 Waynesburg advantage, but the Bison’s next possession ended with Harris cashing in a trifecta to put BC ahead by two. The Yellow Jackets had three chances for a tying or go-ahead score, but missed one shot and turned the ball over twice. Bethany would put the game away with a pair of Harris free throws in the closing seconds and the Bison salvaged a split of the season series with Waynesburg.
A major factor in the Bison win was their work on the boards. They out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets, who entered the game leading the PAC in rebounding margin, by a whopping 47-23 margin, including 18-9 on the offensive glass. It also helped BC counter their season-high 28 turnovers.
Taormina led all scorers and recorded her second career double-double with 17 points and 10 boards. Ten of Harris' 16 points came after halftime and she also grabbed seven rebounds while Droginske fired in 11 off 3-for-4 shooting from the arc.
Leading Waynesburg in defeat was Spencer with 14 points and Hannah Hunter and Elisha Jones with 12 apiece.
Bethany will return home for their next contest, as they host Geneva at 2 p.m. Saturday. The game will not count in the conference standings, as the Golden Tornadoes are in their final year as a provisional member of the NCAA and the PAC.