Dec. 15 – CRESSON, Pa. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team couldn't hold on late as they fell, 70-67, to Mount Aloysius on Tuesday evening.
Bethany (4-5) took an early 7-4 lead as the Bison turned back-to-back steals from Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) into points.
The Mounties (5-4) then made their presence felt inside the remainder of the quarter, scoring 12 points in the paint as they took a 22-17 advantage.
Holenka took over in the second quarter, scoring ten of her game-high 22 points. The junior guard knocked down two triples during the period, and the Bison trailed by four (38-34) heading into the intermission.
Sophomore Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) began the second half with four straight points to tie the game at 38-38. She scored 10 points in the third quarter, including 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Daugherty finished 8-of-8 from the charity stripe in the contest.
The two teams continued to exchange baskets as the score was tied seven times during the third quarter. Holenka converted a layup with 10 seconds remaining to cut the Mounties lead to four (58-54).
The Bison battled back early in the fourth to take the lead with 7:30 to go. Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) made four straight free throws to give Bethany a 60-58 advantage. Schott was impressive at the free-throw line, converting 8-of-9 attempts.
The Mounties came right back with jumper in lane to tie game at 60-60 before Schott scored off a nice pass from Gabrielle Naples to retake the lead.
Daugherty increased the Bison lead to three (64-61) with 5:10 left after an offensive rebound and layup.
Mount Aloysius once again tied the game (64-64) at the 2:49 mark as they knocked down three straight free throws.
Schott, however, received a pass in the post and drove around her defender for the basket and a foul. After making the free throw, Bethany led 67-64 with 1:44 remaining.
The Mounties responded on the ensuing possession with a three from the top of the key to draw even (67-67).
After failing to score on the offensive end, a Bison foul gave Mount Aloysius two free throws. The Mounties took the lead by one (68-67), splitting a pair at the free throw line with 48 seconds left to play.
Mount Aloysius extended their lead to three with 17 seconds remaining, banking in a shot from the block as the shot clock expired.
A late shot attempt from the Bison fell short and the game concluded with the Mounties holding on to a 70-67 lead.
Holenka led the Green & White with 22 points and seven rebounds, going 8-of-15 from the floor (4-of-8 from three). Daugherty added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Schott had 14 points and six boards.
Bethany was efficient from the free throw line throughout the contest, going 21-of-25 (84%).
The Bison defense remained aggressive, forcing 22 turnovers and recording 13 steals. Eight players collected a steal in the game, led by Holenka with five.
Bethany College will be back in action as they welcome Muskingum University on Wednesday, December 30 at 6:00 p.m.