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Feb. 2 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Behind a double-double from sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) and a season-high in points from junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park), the Bethany College women’s basketball team beat Thiel at Hummel Field House 66-58 Wednesday night.

The win improves the Bison to 5-6 in the PAC and 10-10 overall. With the loss, the Tomcats drop to 3-8 in the conference and 5-15 overall.

Out to avenge a defeat in early January to the Tomcats, the Bison got off to fast start. Hackathorn and Taormina combined to make six of the first nine shots for Bethany. Midway through the half, the Bison led 19-12, and then used a 13-2 run to take a commanding 32-14 lead, which would be the largest of the game. The large lead wouldn’t last too long, as the Tomcats began to chip away late in the first half. With the score 36-22 with two minutes remaining in the half, Thiel would score the last six points of the half to cut the lead to just eight.

The Bison led by eight at the half despite shooting just 34 percent from the field. Instead the Bison had 12 offensive rebounds and 15 points off Thiel turnovers. Hackathorn would lead BC in the first half with 10 points and junior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./ Magnolia) had nine points off the bench.

Thiel would shoot 46 percent in the first half, but committed 13 turnovers and took 20 less shots than the Bison in the half. The Tomcats were lead by Kelly Barzak’s 12 points, while she also grabbed six rebounds.

The second half saw the Tomcats jump out to a fast start. A free throw by Ashley Davis capped a 10-2 run to open the half. From there the team exchanged points and the game remained close. Thiel would take their first lead of the game at 49-48 when Davis hit a jumper with 11:36 remaining in the game. Two possessions later the Bison regained the advantage for good on a lay-up from junior Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll). The lead never grew to more than eight in the last 10 minutes of the game but BC would finally secure the victory with three free throws in the last 30 seconds.

The Bison defense was at it again and improved to 10-0 when holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting, as the Tomcats shot just 39 percent from the floor. BC forced 19 turnovers and converted the turnovers into 22 points. The Bison were led in scoring by Hackathorn’s 19 points and she also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots. Taormina would gather her third double-double with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The Bison would shoot just 35 percent but did take a season-high 74 shots.

Thiel was lead in scoring by Kelly Muffley and Barzak who each compiled 18 points. Guard Rianne Thornton led the team with 10 rebounds and two assists.

The Bison are scheduled to play on the road this Saturday afternoon against the Grove City Wolverines, who beat Bethany 66-59 back on Jan. 6th. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.

By Nate Tieman
Sports Information Student Assistant