Jan. 6 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany women’s basketball team will make their first road trip of 2010 Thursday when they travel to Grove City Thursday night for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
Thursday will give Bethany (4-7, 1-2) a chance to even their PAC record. They picked up their first conference victory of the season Monday with a 62-47 decision over Thiel. The Bison led by one at halftime and used a 16-3 surge early in the second half to seize control. Freshman Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) scored a game-high 14, her fifth straight game in double digits, and freshman Taylor Kress (Sharpsville, Pa.) recorded her second double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Thiel win also saw the season debut of junior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio), who missed the first 10 games because of injury. The 5-7 guard led BC in rebounding each of her first two seasons and made an immediate impact Monday by scoring 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor, in addition to hitting both free throw attempts. Harris also grabbed three rebounds, all offensive, and made three steals in the win.
The all-time series is led by Grove City by just by a narrow 28-26 margin, as the Bison have closed the gap in recent years. Bethany has captured seven of the last eight meetings, including the last four in Grove City. Last year, the teams split the season series, with GCC winning 64-60 in Bethany and the Green and White returning the favor with a 67-59 triumph on the Wolverines’ home floor behind 11 points from sophomore Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia).
Grove City (5-6, 3-1) sits just a half-game out of first place in the PAC coming into Thursday night. The Wolverines dropped their league opener to current leader Thomas More, but have taken three straight since, which includes a 72-70 win at Washington & Jefferson and a 20-point triumph on the road at Waynesburg. The most recent win came Tuesday with a 54-44 verdict at Chatham. Although GCC shot just 35 percent from the floor and was out-rebounded 37-31, they forced 31 Cougar turnovers. Junior forward Christine Slater fired in a game-high 19 to lead the way.
Slater, who has been a thorn in the Bison’s side for two years, is having a big year so far. She leads the conference in scoring with 16.3 points per game and is second in rebounding with 8.3, but her career numbers against BC are even better, as she is totaling 17.8 points and 12.3 boards per game in four match-ups with Bethany. Although GCC is ranked only eighth in the conference in scoring (59.1), they crash the offensive boards better than anyone in the PAC (17.45) and force the second-most turnovers (24.9) of any team in the circuit.