Feb. 3 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany women’s basketball team (9-10, 4-5) will travel to Thiel (9-9, 4-6) Wednesday night for a contest packed with PAC Tournament seeding implications. Tip-off in Greenville is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Bison picked up their fifth win in the last six games Saturday by rolling over Geneva 81-60. After taking a nine-point halftime lead, BC shot 59 percent in the second half and scored a season-high 45 points to pull away for the comfortable victory. Senior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park), this week’s PAC Player of the Week, went 9-for-11 from the floor and finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. She was joined in double digits by freshmen Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) with 11 each.
Bethany’s 81 points against Geneva was also a season-best and the Bison have now scored the fourth-most points in the PAC this year. The BC attack is very diverse, as eight different players have led the team in scoring in a game this season. Bethany is the only team in the PAC without a scorer in the top 15 in the league, as McCormick tops the squad with 10.1 markers a game, and the Bison boast seven different players who are averaging 5.5 points or more per game. No other team in the PAC receives production from that many players.
In addition to sharing the scoring load, Bethany’s roster can distribute the basketball. They set a season-high with 19 assists by eight different players against Geneva, with Wilson and senior Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic) each passing out five. As a team, the Bison are rated fourth in the league with 12.74 helpers per contest and they hold a 6-1 record this season when they give out 15 or more assists.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, Bethany is tied with Grove City for third place in the PAC, with Thiel just a half-game back. Westminster and Waynesburg (3-6) both lurk a full game behind in the race for the third and fourth seeds in the league tournament, which would mean a home game for the teams in those spots at the end of the regular season. The Wolverines are at Chatham (2-7) Wednesday, while Westminster hosts Washington & Jefferson (8-1) and Waynesburg is home against Thomas More (9-1).
The Tomcats suffered a surprising loss Saturday with an 86-83 setback in overtime against Chatham, a team they previously defeated by 20 on the road earlier in the season. Thiel received huge efforts from Amber Janae Bodrick (24 pts., 15 rebs., 6 assts.) and Towanda-Michelle Warren (23 pts., 11 rebs., 5 assts), but the Cougars had three players score 20+ and they drained nine three-pointers in the win.
Thiel boasts a nice one-two punch in Bodrick and Warren. Bodrick is the leading scorer in the PAC with 16.6 points per game and is fifth in rebounding at 8.2. Warren ranks 15th in the circuit in points (10.8) and eighth in field goal percentage (48.4). One key to the Tomcat attack is their work on the offensive glass. They rank third in the PAC with 14.78 offensive rebounds behind only Bethany (16.26) and Saint Vincent (16.11).
The first time these teams squared off was Jan. 3 in Bethany. Thiel outlasted the Bison for an 82-76 decision in a game which had 57 fouls, 76 free throw attempts and 54 turnovers. While Bodrick scored 16, it was the combination of Warren (20 points) and Ashley Davis (15) which helped the Tomcats come away with the victory. Bethany was led by McCormick’s career-high 22 points and Wilson, who was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line on her way to 16 markers.