Jan. 20 - BETHANY, W. Va. - The Bethany College women's basketball team (7-8, 3-5 PAC) will look to close out the first half of their conference season with a victory as they travel to Grove City College for a contest with the Wolverines. Full game notes can be viewed below.
The Bison: The Bison women’s basketball team comes into the contest with the Wolverines looking to get back to their winning ways after falling to Westminster (62-53) and Washington & Jefferson (90-72) last week.
In the game against Westminster, freshman Kelsea Daugherty posted her third-straight double-double, scoring 15 points while adding a career-high 15 rebounds. Junior Gabrielle Naples also played well, scoring 13 points while adding four blocked shots.
Against the Presidents, sophomore Hayley Holenka totaled her first double-double of the season, scoring 16 points to go along with 10 boards. Junior Sami Schott finished the contest with 12 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Lauren Simpson tallied 11 points.
So far on the year, the Bison rank fifth in the PAC in points per game (68.7), while allowing opponents to scored 72.3 points per contest. The Green & White are solid on the offensive and defensive glass, ranking second in the conference in rebounds per game (43.9), and third in rebounding margin (+2.6).
The Wolverines: Grove City College enters the game having picked up two conference wins last week against Chatham University (68-48) and Thiel College (67-55). In the win over Chatham, Kathryn Erbelding led the way, scoring 20 points for the Wolverines. Kelsey Shirey added 17 points for Grove City, while Cayley McClean finished with 12.
In the game against Thiel, Erbelding once again played well, finishing the contest with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting.
On the year, Grove City ranks eighth in the PAC in scoring offense (57.1), but allows opponents to score just 62.9 points per game, which is good for third in the conference.
Last Season: During the 2013-14 season, the Bison and Wolverines split the season series, with each team holding serve on their home courts. The Bison defeated Grove City 59-49 in the Hummel Field House in their first meeting, while the Wolverines retaliated with a 75-69 win in Grove City later that year. In the win, the Bison held the Wolverines to 49 points, Bethany’s best defensive output of the season. Gabrielle Naples led the way for the Green & White, scoring 18 points.
Newcomers Making Their Mark: One of the biggest reasons for the Bison’s turn around in 2014-15 has been the addition of new players to the Green & White’s roster. Bethany’s top two scorers this season, freshman Kelsea Daugherty and sophomore Hayley Holenka were not with the team one year ago.
Just 15 games into their careers, Daugherty and Holenka have already begun to make their mark. Daughery ranks seventh in the conference in points per game (13.5), while Holenka also ranks in the top ten, sitting ninth (12.5).
Over her last 11 games, Daugherty has posted five double-doubles and has been named ECAC Rookie of the Week, twice. In that same span, she is averaging 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest. She has also scored at least 20 points on three separate occasions and has only registered less than 15 points, twice.
Slowing down a bit after a torrid pace to start the season, Holenka has begun to pick up her game once again, culminating in her first double-double as a Bison in her previous contest. Against W&J Holenka posted 16 points and 10 boards.
Not only does Holenka rank in the top-ten in scoring per contest in the PAC, but she also leads the conference in three-point shots made, having hit 33 so far on the season. One of the league’s top marksmen, Holenka has hit at least three, three-point shots on five separate occasions.
Limit Turnovers: A big key for the Green & White against Grove City will be how well they can keep from turning the ball over. The Wolverines come into the contest ranked third in the PAC in steals per game, averaging 11.2 per contest. The Wolverines also boast the top two thieves in the conference as Erbelding ranks first in the league (3.4) and Lexie Arkwright (2.7) ranks second in steals per game.
Grove City has posted double-digit steals in eight games this season, which included a team record 22 against Thiel College in their previous contest. In that game, Erbelding posted eight individual steals.
Look for the Bison to rely on the guard tandem of sophomores Alexis Naples and Lauren Simpson to steady the offense for the Green & White. The duo has combined this season to shell out 80 assists while turning the ball over just 30 times through the first 15 games. That translates to an assist/turnover ratio of 2.67.
Hitting the Boards: Both the Bison and Wolverines rank in the top five in the PAC in rebounding margin. The Green & White come into the game ranked third (+2.6), while the Wolverines rank fourth (+2.4). Bethany has prided itself on its ability to get to the glass, ranking second in the PAC in rebounds per game, while Grove City ranks second in the conference in opponents’ rebounds per contest, allowing just 36.1 per outing.
Bethany’s top game on the boards this season came against Chatham University as the team registered 77 boards, including 31 offensive rebounds. At the time, that number was good for the fourth-highest output of the season in all of Division III.