Feb. 13 – WAYNESBURG, Pa. – Despite holding a lead for nearly three-and-a-half quarters, the Bethany College women’s basketball team dropped a 70-67 decision to Waynesburg University on Saturday afternoon at the Rudy Marisa Field House in Waynesburg.
The Green & White opened the game strong, running out to a 15-0 lead over the game’s first five minutes. Junior Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) notched the first bucket, knocking down a three from long range. Senior Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) then added seven-straight points, before Ashley Duthie (Madison, Ohio/Madison) bookended the run with five-consecutive points.
The host Yellow Jackets would respond before the end of the first frame, dropping an 11-0 run before the quarters’ end.
The lead would shrink to as little as three in the second quarter on a basket by Addy Knetzer with 8:48 to play in the half.
An 8-2 run by the Green & White would help push the Bethany lead back to nine points. Sophomore Kelsi Settle (Seabring, Ohio/Seabring) totaled four points, giving the Bison a 24-15 lead with 6:21 to play.
The advantage would once again shrink to two points (25-23), before another Bethany 7-0 swing pushed the lead back to nine points (32-23). Duthie posted a three in the run, which was capped by a jumper from Taylor Large (Hopwood, Pa./Laurel Highlands) with 24 seconds remaining. The lead would then settle at eight points at the break, 32-24.
Duthie and Tipton each led the Bison in the first half, scoring eight points. Tipton also added 10 rebounds in the frame.
The third quarter saw the Green & White push their lead back out to nine points (37-28) on Holenka’s third three pointer of the game. Bethany would continue to hold a nine-point lead with 3:54 to play in the frame.
The Yellow Jackets would respond in the late stages of the third, pulling within four points by the end of the quarter (46-42).
Bethany opened the fourth quarter, using a 7-0 advantage to push the lead to the largest it had been since early in the first. A three from Holenka, followed by buckets from both Tipton and Daugherty, extended the lead to 11 points (53-42) with eight minutes remaining.
Over the next four minutes of the fourth quarter, the hosts would embark on a 15-3 run, including nine points from leading scorer Addy Knetzer, to take their first lead of the game, 57-56, with 4:01 to play.
The lead would exchange hands four times over the final four minutes, before the hosts pushed the lead to five points (68-63) on free throws by Heather Davis with 18 seconds to play.
Tipton kept the Bison in the game late, posting layups on back-to-back possessions. However, Bethany was forced to foul in the late stages. Waynesburg managed just one made free throw on each trip, affording the Green & White one last look at a tie with one second to play.
After a full timeout, Duthie was able to get off a three-point shot as time expired. However, the shot missed the mark, and the Bison fell by the 70-67 final.
In the loss, the Bison’s three leading scorers continued to play well. Holenka finished the game with a team-high 18 points. Tipton and Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) each added a double-double to the cause. Tipton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Daugherty added 16 points and 10 boards.
Bethany will be back in action on Wednesday, February 17, as they travel to Grove City, Pa. to take on the Wolverines of Grove City College. Action is slated for a 5:30 p.m. start time.