Jan. 21 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Behind a career night from freshman Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier), the Bethany College women’s basketball team defeated Grove City College 68-66 on Wednesday evening. The win gave the Bison their eighth of the season, marking the most by the program since the 2011-12 campaign.
The first half of the game was a back-and-forth affair as neither team could maintain a large lead throughout the opening frame. The first six minutes of the half alone saw six lead changes and three ties. With the Green & White up 13-12 with 14:08 to play, Grove City would make their first run of the contest.
The Wolverines put together a 9-2 run to jump out to a six-point advantage with 10:59 to play in the half. Kelsey Shirey put Grove City up by six, hitting the final shot of the run, a three-point basket from the right wing.
The six-point advantage was short lived as the Bison immediately responded with back-to-back threes by Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) and Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity). The latter came at the 9:02 mark and knotted the contest at 21-21.
The Bison would find themsevles down by two (28-26) with 5:50 to play, before Bethany would embark on a 10-3 run to take a five-point advantage (36-31). The closing points of the run were scored on a pair of free throws by Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) with 1:21 to play. Naples scored the final six points of the half for the Bison, who went into the break leading 38-34.
Overall in the first half, the lead changed hands on seven different occasions, and was also tied four times in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, it was more of the same as both teams rufesed to budge. Eventually, the Wolverines extended their advantage back to a six-point cushion (56-50) with 9:54 to play. However, the Bison would once again answer the call.
Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) would embark on a personal 7-0 run, including a three pointer and an “old-fashioned” three-point play. The layup and ensuing free-throw would tie the game for the ninth time (56-56) with 6:25 to play. Schott would then add another free throw, giving the Bison a lead they would never again relinquish.
The Green & White would extend the lead to six points (66-60) on a layup by Duahgerty with 2:17 to play. Bethany would then go on for the two-point win.
In the victory, Daugherty played perhaps her best game as a Bison. The freshman forward scored a career high 26 points to go along with tying a career best in rebounds (15). The numbers marked her fourth double double in the team’s last five games. Her point total was the most by a Bison this year, and marks the most points scored by a Bethany player since Taylor Verrico scored 36 against W&J last season.
Sami Schott and Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) each also finished in double figures. Schott scored 11, while Tipton added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Gabrielle Naples finished the contest with eight points, scoring all eight in the opening half.
The Green & White will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 24, when they travel to Latrobe, Pa. to take on the Bearcats of Saint Vincent College. The Contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip.