Feb. 5 - GROVE CITY, Pa. – After letting a 17-point first half get away, the Bethany College women’s basketball team recovered for a 69-65 victory at Grove City Saturday, which lifted the Bison into fourth place in the PAC.
Senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) scored the opening basket 26 seconds into the game and Bethany (11-10, 6-6) never trailed in the first half. It was a three-point BC advantage midway through the period when they erupted for an 18-4 spurt. Sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley), who scored 15 in the opening stanza, canned back-to-back treys during the run, which was capped by Harris’ traditional three-point play that ballooned the Bison lead to 36-19.
The Wolverines built some momentum for the second half by scoring five of the final seven points of the half to trim the Bethany margin to 38-24 at the break. The 38 points was the second-most posted in the first half this year by the Bison, who shot 53 percent (16-30) in the opening half.
Bethany maintained their comfortable lead early in the second half, as their lead went back to 44-28 on a Harris triple. Grove City stormed back into the game behind Christine Slater, the conference’s leading scorer who was limited to just five points in the first half. The Wolverines ripped off 16 consecutive points, 10 coming from Slater, to tie the score at 44. Bison junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) broke BC’s scoreless stretch with a lay-up, but Slater hit a three on the ensuing possession to give the home team their first lead of the game at 47-46 with 10:54 to go.
The Bison trailed for just 19 seconds, as on their next trip down the floor, Harris stepped out to cash in a trifecta and put the Green and White back in front for good. The bucket started a 10-2 run for Bethany, whose lead grew to nine at 65-56 when Harris scored a lay-up with 43 seconds on the clock. The Bison would have to withstand one final charge from Grove City, as Slater fired in three three-pointers in the final minute. Their rally would not be enough, as BC secured the win with two foul shots from Taormina and Wilson in the closing seconds.
A trio of Bison notched double digits in the victory, led by Taormina, who was 4-for-5 from the arc and finished with 20. Harris was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep and compiled 19 markers and 11 boards for her first double-double of the season. Rounding out the big scorers was Hackathorn with 13.
Leading Grove City was Slater, who tallied 26 of GCC’s 41 second-half points to finish with a career-high 31. Also posting double figures was Megan Gebrosky with 13 points and she also passed out a game-high five assists.
Bethany, who has won four in a row in the road, faces a tough test if that streak is to reach five. The Bison will travel to Saint Vincent, who is ranked 19th and 21st in the most recent Top 25 polls, for a 6 p.m. tip-off Wednesday night.