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Bison to Try for 2nd Straight Win Wednesday Against Westminster

Jan. 29 -BETHANY, W.Va. – Fresh off a thrilling come-from-behind win over Grove City Saturday, the Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to make it two straight when it hosts Westminster Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

The Bison (6-13, 4-8) trailed Grove City by 11 early in the second half, but chopped away at the lead through the rest of the period. With the score tied at 50, freshman Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio) broke free for a lay-up with 23 seconds to provide the winning margin in a 52-50 triumph. Tipton scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half to help fuel the rally, while freshman Brianna Nuzum (Morgantown, W.Va.) turned in 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) also contributed to the comeback with 10 markers, all in the second half.

9929Upton10.jpg The win was a milestone for head coach Rebecca Upton (right), who earned her 100th victory on the sideline for the Bison. The ninth-year coach is just the third in Bethany women’s history to reach 100 career victories, joining Jina DeRubbo (131) and Lisa Campanell Komara (126). Upton, who led Bethany to the ECAC Tournament semifinals last year following a one-point win at Marywood (Pa.) University in the first round, and DeRubbo are the only coaches in BC history to guide the program to a postseason victory.

Upton is a graduate of Westminster and will be trying to prevent her alma mater from earning a sweep of the season series for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Titans were red-hot from the arc, hitting 7-of-10, while BC made just 2-of-14 attempts from deep in Westminster’s 72-49 victory in the first meeting Jan. 2nd.  Bethany shot only 33 percent in the game and was led by Verrico with 14 points and sophomore Monica Westerheide (Zanesville, Ohio/Bishop Rosecrans) with career-highs of 12 points and six rebounds. Leading the Titans was Jenn Cantella, who was 5-for-6 from the arc for 20 points and Katie Hughes, who dropped in 16.

After winning three in a row in the middle of the month, Westminster (8-11, 6-6) has dropped two straight. The Titans were tied with Saint Vincent at 21-21 at halftime Saturday, but the Bearcats shot 65 percent in the second half to pull away for a 66-46 win. Westminster turned the ball over 22 times and converted just 14-of-47 field goal attempts (29.8 percent) in the loss. Forward Andi Ridge knocked down seven free throws to finish with a team-best 13 points and Hughes had a dozen in the game.

Like Bethany’s defensive battle with Grove City Saturday, this will likely be another low-scoring contest, as BC ranks sixth in the PAC in scoring (56.3) and the Titans are seventh (53.8). Although Cantella burned the Bison from deep last game, and she is tied for fourth in the PAC with 35 treys, BC will also have to account for Jenna Grandy, who leads the conference in three-point percentage at 47.4 (27-57). Even with their shooters, Westminster is led in scoring by Hughes in the frontcourt with 11.4 points per game, while guard Gabby Holko, who provides a third threat from the perimeter with 32 triples, is scoring 10.0 points per game.