Feb. 19 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team closed the game with a 16-4 run to post a 65-58 come-from-behind victory at Washington & Jefferson in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon.
The win upped the Bison’s record to 13-12 overall and 8-8 in the PAC. Combined with Chatham’s win at Thiel Saturday, BC also earned the #4 seed and a first-round home game in next week’s PAC Tournament. The Presidents dropped to 9-16 and 6-10 in the league.
The first half was tightly contested through the first 10 minutes. Trailing 15-13, senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) hit a lay-up to start a 20-6 blitz from the Bison. Harris scored eight and BC made all four of their-three-pointers in the opening half during the run. W&J did manage to post the final four points of the period to trim the Bison lead to 33-25 at intermission.
A trey from junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) pushed the Bison margin back up to 40-29 with six minutes gone in the second half. But the Presidents answered with eight straight points and ripped off a 23-7 surge that saw the hosts take a 52-47 lead on an Ashley Kirkpatrick lay-in with 5:28 to play.
The teams exchanged scores for a 54-49 W&J margin when Bethany began their comeback. It started with a triple from junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) and following three straight points from sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley), junior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./.Magnolia) shot the Bison into the lead at 58-56 with a trey at the 1:09 mark.
Bethany would maintain the lead at the foul line, as the Green and White went 6-for-7 in the final minute, including Wilson making all four of her attempts from the line, to secure the victory. The triumph also snapped the Bison’s six-game losing streak to W&J.
Leading the Bethany win was Harris, who registered her second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Taormina notched 12 markers, nine boards and four assists and Wilson finished with 11, all coming in the second half.
The Presidents were paced by Kirkpatrick with a game-high 18 points.
The Bison needed a little help to get the quarterfinal home game and got what they ordered when Chatham beat Thiel 63-59. That outcome gave Bethany the tiebreaker over Grove City (13-12, 8-8), who drops to the fifth-seed and will travel to BC for the quarterfinals. Then teams split their regular season meetings, with the Wolverines winning 66-59 at Hummel Field House Jan. 6 and the Bison earning revenge with a 69-65 triumph at GCC Feb. 5. Tip-off Tuesday night is scheduled for 6 p.m.