Jan. 3 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team (7-4, 3-1 PAC) used a solid team effort, including a season-high 77 rebounds, to defeat Chatham University, 85-45, in the team’s first contest of the 2015 calendar year.
With the game tied at 4-4, the Bison would rattle off a 20-point over a nine-minute span to extend the lead to 24-4 with 8:43 to play in the opening frame. The Bison showed great balance in the run, as seven different players scored a basket, including four points each from Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and Carly Grady (Keyser, W. Va./Keyser).
The Bison lead would extend to as many as 28 before a 9-1 run by Chatham closed out the first half with the Green & White holding a 20-point advantage, 38-18.
Bethany controlled the paint in the first half, scoring 26 of their 38 points either in the pain or at the free-throw line. The controlling factor of this was that Bethany totaled 41 rebounds, including 15 offensive boards in the opening frame, leading to 14 second-chance points.
The Green & White would continue to expand their advantage in the second half, once again outscoring Chatham by 20 points en rout to the 40-point win, 85-45. The Bison bench was a large part of the second-half success, as the Bison reserves totaled 27 of the team’s 47 points in the frame. Celestia Hendrix (Syracuse, Ohio/Southern) led all reserves with seven points in the second half, while Mytia Barker (Wintersville, Ohio/Steubenville) posted six points in the frame.
Offensively the Bison saw great balance as nine different players totaled at least six points in the contest. Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) led the way with 18 points in just 19 minutes of action. Simpson finished with 11 points off the bench while Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) totaled nine.
Other offensive leaders for the Green & White included Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) who finished with eight. Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside), Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and Hendrix all finished with seven points while Grady and Barker finished with six each.
The Bison controlled every facet of the game, holding the Cougars to just 23 percent shooting which led to 77 total rebounds. The rebound total was the fourth highest in all of Division III this season, and is the most by any Presidents’ Athletic Conference team since Westminster posted 77 against Hiram College on November 27, 2010.
Gabrielle Naples led the way in the rebound department, finishing the game with a career-high 17. Hendrix also posted a career-best, notching 11 in just 11 minutes of playing time. Schott finished the game with 10 while Daugherty was just one board shy of a double-double with nine.
Alexis Naples totaled a solid all-around performance, finishing the contest with eight points and seven rebounds to go along with six assists and four steals.
The team finished with their second-highest scoring output of the season, finishing the game with a decisive 36-5 advantage in second-chance points. The Bison reserves also outscored the Chatham bench handily, 39-16, and Bethany held a 46-20 advantage in points in the paint.
The Bison will be back in action on Wednesday, January 7 when they travel to Crestview Hills, Kentucky to take on the Saints of Thomas More College. The contest is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.