Dec. 2 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Despite getting a second-straight double-double from sophomore Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah), the Bethany College women’s basketball team (1-2) was defeated by the University of Mount Union 74-62 on Monday evening.
The Bison and Purple Raiders played neck-and-neck over the first three minutes of the contest, trading buckets until a jumper by Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) knotted the game at 8-8 with 16:51 to play in the half.
Over the next four minutes, Mount Union would push the lead out to nine points by going on a 15-6 run. A layup by Aly Daniels gave the Purple Raiders their largest lead of the half with 12:35 to play in the opening stanza (23-14).
Bethany would come right back and rattle off five straight points, getting a basket by Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and a three-point shot by Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) to cut the advantage to four points (23-19) with 11:23 to play. The Purple Raider advantage would never reach double digits in the first half, but the Bison could get no closer than four points.
With just one second remaining in the half, Mount Union would match its largest lead of the frame on two free throws by Daniel, giving UMU a nine-point advantage (40-31) heading into the break.
In the second half, the Mount Union advantage would grow to as many as 13 points (46-33) but the Bison would never give up. Using timely shooting and solid defense, Bethany began to chip away at the lead, getting as close as four points (55-51) on a three-point shot by Schott with 8:27 to play in the game.
The Purple Raiders would answer, scoring eight of the game’s next ten points to grow the lead to 10 (63-53) with under five minutes to play. Bethany would get the game to as close as seven points (69-62) on free throws by Verrico with 1:07 remaining, but would eventually fall by a score of 74-62.
Defensively, the Bison held the Ohio Athletic Conference leaders in points per game to their second-lowest point total of the season. Bethany also allowed undefeated Mount Union to shoot just 37 percent from the field in the contest, their lowest field goal percentage of the year.
Individually, Schott led the way for the Bison, capturing a career-high in points with 18 while shooting an efficient 7-of-13 from the field. She also collected 10 rebounds on the night, earning her second consecutive double-double.
Joining Schott in double figures were Verrico and Naples. Verrico finished with 16 points on the day, while Naples chipped in with a career-high 13 points. Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) added six points on the day while Williams dished six assists.
Bethany will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 4, as the Bison will open Presidents’ Athletic Conference play at Waynesburg University. The contest with the Yellow Jackets is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip.