MARIETTA RALLIES TO DOWN BETHANY IN BEHREND TOURNAMENT
Nov. 18 - ERIE, Pa. – After rallying from a big first-half deficit, Marietta outscored the Bethany College women’s basketball team 11-3 over the final six minutes of the game to score a 64-57 victory over the Bison in the opening round of the Penn State Behrend Tournament Friday night.
The defeat dropped BC’s record to 0-2 overall and the Green and White will take on Hiram in Saturday’s consolation game at 1 p.m. Marietta (2-0) will take on the host Lions in the title game after Behrend beat Hiram 54-43 in the other opening round match-up.
Bethany could do little wrong in the first five minutes of the game, as six different players scored during a 16-0 blitz to open the contest. The Pioneers answered back with an impressive 18-2 run to draw even but the wild swings continued when BC junior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) fired in seven straight points. That burst helped the Bison take a 28-22 lead into the locker room for intermission.
A trey from Taormina early in the second half helped Bethany take their margin back up to 33-24, but Marietta stormed back again with 12 consecutive points to go in front for the first time in the game 36-33. The advantage continued to bounce between the teams, with three ties and seven lead changes. A lay-up by Bison sophomore Ty Harris (Wintersville, Ohio/Indian Creek) gave BC a 54-53 lead with 6:54 showing on the clock, but it proved to be the final field goal of the game for the Green and White.
After the Harris bucket, a rebound off a missed three-pointer led by a basket from Marietta’s Kristeva Rowe and the Pioneers never trailed again. Bethany could only manage three foul shots down the stretch, as Marietta pulled away to secure the win and move into the title clash on Saturday.
Neither team shot the ball very well, with each side hovering around 32 percent for the game, but turnovers doomed Bethany. Their 25 miscues were turned into 23 points on the Marietta end.
Taormina finished the night with 17 points to tie for game-high honors. Senior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magonlia) posted a double-double with 11 points and a dozen rebounds and senior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) tossed in 10 off the bench.
For the Pioneers, Aleisha Guiler also had 17 points and Heather Booth tallied 12.