Nov. 18 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team rolled to an 83-60 win over Franciscan University on Wednesday evening. Six different Bison scored at least seven points.
The Bison exploded out of the gate, taking a 12-0 lead in the opening two and a half minutes of the contest. Bethany received back-to-back threes from Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) and Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) to start the game. An offensive rebound and putback by Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) on the next possession forced a Franciscan timeout.
Bethany kept up the pressure as Tipton calmly knocked down two free throws and Holenka added a layup to take the twelve-point advantage with 7:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Franciscan responded with a 9-3 run (15-9) over the next five minutes. The Barons knocked down five free throws as Bethany was in foul trouble early in the quarter.
The Bison fought back with a 6-2 run to lead 21-11 at the end of the quarter. Carly Grady (Keyser, W. Va./Keyser) and Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) both scored for the Bison during the run.
The second quarter started off with three-consecutive baskets from Daugherty. Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) then found Tipton under the basket on a fast break with 8:13 left to make it 29-11.
Freshman Rachel Devine (Carrollton, Ohio/Carrollton) knocked down a triple and Schott followed it up with a layup as the Bison offense continued to cruise. Bethany called a timeout, leading 35-19, with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter.
Bethany’s defense gave the Barons trouble the entire half. The Bison forced 16 turnovers en route to a 38-23 lead at the half. Daugherty collected eight points and 10 rebounds and Holenka added 10 points in the opening 20 minutes.
The two teams exchanged baskets early in the third quarter. Alexis Naples found Daugherty under the basket and then finished strong in the paint with a foul for a three-point play. The junior point guard found Daugherty again to give the Bison a 55-31 advantage with 4:16 to go in the quarter. She finished with six assists.
Schott increased the Bison lead as she sank a pull-up jumper and then found Grady for the easy layup to make it a 62-36 game with 1:53 remaining.
Freshman Ashley Duthie (Madison, Ohio/Madison) came up with a steal on the press and found Devine on the fast break for a layup. Kelsi Settle (Sebring, Ohio/Sebring) then scored five straight for the Green & White as they held a 69-37 lead at the end of the third. Settle recorded eight points in the quarter.
The Barons chipped away at the Bison lead, outscoring Bethany, 13-4, in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter to trail, 73-50.
Freshman Taylor Large (Hopwood, Ohio/Laurel Highlands) ended the Barons run with the first basket of her Bethany career to make it 75-50 with 4:20 remaining. Sophomore Maclaine Murad (Bridgeport, Ohio/Bridgeport) extended the lead with a layup on the next possession.
Murad made another jumper and Shelva Burns (Weirton, W. Va./Weir) added four points of her own late in the fourth quarter as the Bison closed out the 83-60 victory.
The defense for the Bison wreaked havoc the entire game, totaling 18 steals and seven blocks on the day. Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) led the way with two blocks.
Offensively, Daugherty led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Holenka finished with 10 points and five boards, while Tipton totaled nine. Settle and Schott added eight points while Devine scored seven. 12 different Bison tallied at least two points in the contest.
The Bison outrebounded Franciscan 47-31 and amassed 42 points in the paint. Bethany also took advantage of their stingy defense, scoring 29 points off turnovers. Tipton and Settle had three steals each, while Alexis Naples and Daugherty collected two.
Bethany College will return to action at the Hope College Tournament on November 20-21. The Bison are slated for a 5:30 start against Ohio Wesleyan on Friday.