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Women's Basketball Falls to Washington & Jefferson

Jan. 17 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team dropped a 90-72 decision to visiting Washington & Jefferson College on Saturday afternoon.

W&J sprinted out of the gates early, running out to a 19-6 advantage over the first eight minutes of the contest. That lead would eventually grow to 19 points (37-18) on a basket by Valarie Dunlap with 5:10 to play in the opening frame. The Bison, however, would come storming back.

Bethany needed just under four minutes to make the deficit disappear as they outscored the Presidents 20-5 in the span of 3:52. Junior Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) got the run started with a jumper before the streak was fueled by eight points from sophomore Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity). Simpson nailed a triple and followed that with two free-throws, cutting the W&J lead to 11, 37-26.

After a free-throw by the Presidents extended the advantage to 12, back-to-back jumpers were nailed by Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside), before Simpson canned her second three-pointer of the run to shrink the lead down to seven (40-33) with 1:57 to play.

After a pair of free-throws pushed the lead back out to nine, Holenka would embark on a personal 5-0 run, knocking down a trey and hitting two foul shots to pull the Green & White within four, 42-38, with 1:18 to go. The Presidents would respond, however, getting five-straight points before the half to send the Bison into the locker room down 47-38 at the break.

The Bison bench helped the Green & White get back into the ball game as they scored 18 of the team’s 38 points in the opening stanza. Simpson totaled eight in the first half while Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) totaled six and Carly Grady (Keyser, W.Va./Keyser) added four.

The Green & White would continue to blaze the come-back trail at the opening portion of the second half. Still down nine, 49-40, with 18:34 to play, the Bison would again need a small margin of time to again swing the momentum.

In a span of 3:03, the Bison outscored W&J 12-2 to take a one-point advantage, 52-51, with 15:37 remaining in the contest. Holenka once again started the run with five-straight points, knocking down a long-distance shot and a layup. Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) would add three points in the run and Schott would contribute four to the cause. Schott’s final two points on a pair of free throws gave the Bison the one-point lead.

From there, however, the Presidents would re-gain the momentum, outscoring Bethany 39-20 over the final 15 minutes to walk away with the 18-point victory.

Offensively, the Bison were led by Holenka, Schott and Simpson. Holenka contributed her first double-double of the season, finishing the contest with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Schott was just one rebound shy of a double-double of her own, totaling 12 points, nine boards and three assists. Simpson finished the day with 11 while Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) and Grady finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

As a team, the Bison moved the ball extremely well in the contest, assisting on 20 of their 26 made field goals. Five different Bison registered at least two assists, led by a game-high seven from Alexis Naples.

The Green & White will be back in action on Wednesday, January 21 as they travel to Grove City, Pa. for a PAC matchup with Grove City College. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.