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LATE RALLY SENDS BISON TO ECAC SEMIFINALS WITH 61-60 WIN
Feb. 29 - SCRANTON, Pa. – Capped off by senior Katelynn Hackathorn’s (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) three-point play with two seconds to go, the Bethany College women’s basketball team rallied from a four-point deficit in the final 26 seconds Wednesday to claim a 61-60 victory at Marywood Wednesday in the ECAC South Quarterfinals.
The win, which improved the Bison's record to 17-11 overall, advanced BC to the tournament semifinals. Fifth-seeded Bethany moves on to play #1 Medaille (N.Y.) College, who had a bye through the quarterfinals, at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The other semifinal will pit #2 Moravian (Pa.) College, who will host the semifinals and championship this weekend, against #6 Penn State Behrend at 4 p.m. The winners will face off for the championship Sunday.
The Bison opened the game with a flurry, as two Hackathorn baskets and a trey from senior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) fueled a 12-2 spurt to open the game. The Pacers (18-10) answered back with a 10-0 run, keyed by three hoops from Mariah Schaeffer, to take a 20-17 lead. Marywood would also complete the first half with eight consecutive points to take a 34-28 lead into halftime.
The second half opened with the Pacers scoring the first two baskets to take their largest lead of the night at 38-28. Bethany, who committed 20 turnovers in the first half, did not let the game get away, tearing off an 18-5 run and following a Hackathorn score, BC was back on top 46-43 midway through the second half.
The rest of the game would see the lead see-saw back and forth, with four ties and five lead changes through the final 10 minutes. The Bison surged back into the lead 56-54 when senior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) cashed in a trey with 4:39 to go. The home team then scored the next six points and when Schaeffer hit two foul shots with 26 seconds to play to make it a 60-56 Pacer lead, Bethany’s situation looked bleak.
The Bison trimmed two off the deficit with a pair of Shepherd foul shots with 17 ticks on the clock and their hopes stayed alive when Marywood missed two foul shots. The last chance for the Bison came on an out-of-bounds play under their basket and a pass was lobbed to Hackathorn. She put up a shot while being fouled that just trickled over the rim and through the net and then knocked down the foul shot for the go-ahead point. The Pacers last chance three was off the mark and Bethany had its first win in four trips to the ECAC Tournament and first postseason win since the 2001-02 campaign.
Hackathorn's game-winning three-point play capped a big night for the Bison center. She went 8-for-9 from the floor to score 17 points and also grabbed a career-high tying 16 rebounds. Three other Bison also reached double digits with seniors Zogran and Shepherd and junior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) posting 10 points apiece.
The Pacers were led by Schaeffer and Allison Bruet with 17 points each.