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BISON LOOKING TO START 2-0 IN PAC PLAY AGAINST GENEVA SATURDAY
Dec. 1 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to start 2-0 in PAC play for the first time since the 2006-07 season when it hosts Geneva Saturday afternoon in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison (2-3, 1-0) opened the conference slate with a win Wednesday night by sliding past Grove City 79-67 on the road. The Wolverines led by one late in the first half before BC closed the opening period with a 9-1 run and then scored the first 10 points in the second half to open up a 17-point lead. The closest GCC would get after that was seven points and Bethany picked up its sixth win in the last seven trips to Grove City.
Pacing the Bison in the win was senior center Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park). She recorded her seventh career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds and by shooting 7-for-11 from the floor in the victory, Hackathorn leads the PAC in field goal percentage at 62.1 percent. Also reaching double digits for BC Wednesday was senior guard Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) with 14 points and six assists, which took her to fifth in the league with 3.6 per game.
The 79 points posted by the Bison in the win was not only a season-high, but also the most scored by the team in 28 games dating back to early last year when BC lost to John Carroll 103-95. Surprisingly, Bethany, who is 2-0 this year when surpassing the 70-point plateau, went 0-3 last year when it scored 70 or more points.
Bethany was able to clinch the victory over Grove City with steady free throw shooting. The Bison made 23-of-29 from the line (79 percent) in the game and the Green and White is second in the conference in free throw accuracy at 75.3 percent. Senior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) is a near perfect 10-for-11 at the charity stripe this year to rank second in the circuit at 90.9 percent. Not far behind her is Wilson, who at 83.3 percent, is tied for fourth-highest percentage in the PAC.
Since Bethany and Geneva began playing regularly again in 2007, the teams have split the eight meetings right down the middle with each side claiming four victories. Each team picked up a victory on the other’s home floor last year, which the Golden Tornadoes earning an 82-70 decision at Hummel Field House. The Bison led by three at halftime, but Geneva, who was led by Christine Carugati with 21 points, shot 60 percent in the second half to rally for the victory. Wilson led BC’s efforts in the contest with 17 markers.
The Golden Tornadoes are off to a slow start in their first season under new head coach Lori Wynn. Geneva fell to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the league with an 82-44 loss to defending champion Thomas More Wednesday night. The Saints ran out to a 38-19 halftime lead and continued to pull away from the GTs, who lost their fourth straight game following a 61-44 triumph over Penn State-Greater Allegheny in the season opener. In the Thomas More game, Chelsea D’Urso notched a game-high 19 points and Rachel Rouan had 10, but Geneva was out-rebounded 40-19 and committed 26 turnovers.
Although the Golden Tornadoes dropped to 10th in the PAC in scoring with 50.2 points per game, they rank fourth in the conference in scoring defense with 60.2 points allowed. Rouan, a 5-8 guard-forward, is the leading scorer with 11.0 points per game and is shooting 59 percent from the floor. D’Urso’s big game Wednesday vaulted her scoring to 10.8 a contest and senior point guard Beth DeLuca is averaging 9.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.