Dec. 30 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Despite a career-high 21 points from senior forward Sami Schott, the Bethany College women’s basketball team could not shake a slow start, eventually falling to Muskingum University, 82-68, on Wednesday evening in Bethany.
Getting the nod off the bench due to some early foul trouble, Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) filled in nicely, logging a season-high and team-best 31 minutes of floor time. She responded by leading the Bison in both points (21) and rebounds (eight).
In the game, the Bison (4-6) held an early 7-3 advantage through the first three minutes, as senior Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) got off to a hot start. The forward knocked down her first triple of the game, and, after a bucket by senior Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville), added a driving layup to give Bethany the four-point lead.
From there, however, the tide would turn in favor of the visitors. The Muskies (4-7) would take advantage of eight Bison miscues in the opening quarter to turn a four-point deficit into an eight-point lead by the end of the frame. The run began with a 12-2 swing, including six points by forward Jasmine Goings. Her last bucket gave Muskingum a 15-9 lead with 4:05 to play.
Bethany would cut the deficit to three (18-15) on a basket by Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier), but the end of the quarter would see five-straight points by the Muskies to close the frame with the visitors out in front, 23-15.
The Green & White would tally the first points of the second stanza on a layup by Kelsi Settle (Sebring, Ohio/Sebring), but Muskingum would once again respond with a 21-3 run to put the Bison down 44-20 with 4:03 to play in the half. The difference would settle on 21 points at halftime, with Bethany trailing 50-29.
The difference in the first half could be found in points off turnovers, as the Muskies turned 12 Bethany miscues into 18 points, while the Bison forced just two Muskingum turnovers in the half.
Bethany would outscore Muskingum 21-18 in the third quarter and would continue their comeback in the fourth and final frame.
Still down 22 with 7:50 to play in the game, the Bison would spark a 14-5 run which cut the Muskie lead to 13 points (77-64) with 3:43 remaining. Schott totaled four points in the run, as did Daugherty. Naples finished the run with a three-point play. However, time ran out on Bethany’s comeback bid as the Green & White fell by the 82-68 final.
Offensively, Schott became the third different Bison this season to eclipse the 20-point mark, joining Daugherty and Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside). She also led the Bison in both points and rebounds for the second time this season, despite having not made a start in 2015.
Other offensive leaders for the Bison included Naples and Tipton. Naples tallied her third double-digit scoring output of the season, finishing with a season-best 16 points while adding seven boards. Tipton also added seven rebounds to go along with nine points and a team-high three steals.
The Bison will be back in action on Saturday, January 2, when they travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to resume Presidents’ Athletic Conference action against Chatham University. The matchup with the Cougars is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. tip.