Dec. 12 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team fell, 75-69, to Geneva in Presidents’ Athletic Conference action on Saturday evening.
The Golden Tornadoes (5-3, 3-0 PAC) jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 7:54 to play on back-to-back three-point field goals.
Geneva extended their lead to 10-2 to force a Bison timeout midway through the first quarter.
Bethany (4-4, 2-1 PAC) used jump shots from Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and Kelsi Settle (Sebring, Ohio/Sebring) to cut into the Geneva lead (15-8) with 2:19 remaining. Naples finished with six points in the quarter as the Bison trailed, 21-14.
Bethany battled their way back into the contest early in the second, forcing a Geneva timeout as Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) finished a layup to pull the Bison within four (24-20) with 7:26 to go.
Schott added anther basket in the paint to cut the Golden Tornadoes lead to two (27-25) at the 3:15 mark. Geneva responded with a 9-2 burst, taking a nine-point lead (36-27) at the half.
Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) scored five early points in the third, including the first triple of the game for the Bison. Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) and Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) each added a basket to pull Bethany within four (40-36) with 7:45 remaining.
Settle and Gabrielle Naples scored back-to-back baskets to tie the contest at 43-43 at the 4:01 mark.
Geneva took the lead back with six straight points from Miranda Heaney, before the Bison roared back with a 10-4 run (53-53) to end the quarter. Holenka paced the Bison offense with eight points in the third as Bethany shot 66% from the field.
The Bison defense continued to pressure the Golden Tornadoes as they forced four straight turnovers to start the fourth period, taking a four-point advantage (57-53).
The two teams went back-and-forth over the next couple minutes, exchanging the lead three times. Geneva then took a three-point advantage (66-63) with 3:15 to play.
The Golden Tornadoes increased their lead to seven before Holenka made a three at the 1:34 mark to cut the deficit to four (70-66).
Geneva, however, closed out the game at the free throw line, converting 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute. The Golden Tornadoes finished 21-of-26 from the charity stripe.
Offensively, Holenka and Tipton led the way for Bethany. Holenka totaled 18 points, while Tipton netted 16 points and eight boards. Naples tallied 10 points, Schott scored eight, and Settle added seven points.
The Bison defense remained active throughout the game, collecting 13 steals and forcing 21 turnovers. Gabrielle Naples, Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range), and Schott totaled three steals each.
Bethany returns to action on Tuesday, December 15 as they travel to Cresson, Pa. to take on Mount Aloysius. The game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. start.