Jan. 13 - BETHANY, W. Va. - Off to their best start since the 2011-12 season, the Bethany College women's basketball team (7-6, 3-3 PAC) will look to capture their eighth win of the year as they travel to Westminster on Wednesday. Full game notes can be viewed below.
The Bison: The Bison women’s basketball team comes into the contest with Westminster in the midst of their best start since the 2011-12 season. The Green & White are coming off a 73-65 defeat at the hands of Waynesburg University. In the back-and-forth affair, neither team led by more than seven points until the final minutes of play. Junior Mikyla Tipton had a big day for the Bison, dropping in a career-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. It marked the second 20-point performance of Tipton’s career.
Junior Sami Schott and freshman Kelsea Daugherty also contributed double-doubles in the game. Daugherty posted 15 points to go along with a career-best 14 rebounds. Schott corralled a season-best 13 rebounds to go along with 11 points. It was the third double-double of the season for Daugherty and the first for Schott.
Bethany comes into the contest ranked third in the conference in points per game (69.6). The team is also rebounding the ball well, and currently sits second in the PAC in rebounds per contest, averaging 44.7 per game.
Individually, Daugherty and Hayley Holenka lead the Bethany offense, as each rank in the top ten in the PAC in points per game. Daugherty is currently seventh (13.7), while Holenka sits ninth, scoring 12.6 points per game.
The Titans: Westminster enters the game with a 1-9 record over their last ten contests, including a recent loss to Waynesburg University (79-69) on Monday evening. Westminster was led by Allison Borts in the game as she posted a double-double, scoring 22 points while adding 12 rebounds. Starting guard Rachel Durbin also scored in double-figures (10), while reserve player Kylie Cook finished the game with 11.
Overall, Borts has been leading the Titans, averaging team highs in both points (11.1/game) and rebounds (6.6/game) over the first 13 games of the season.
Last Season: During the 2013-14 campaign, the Bison and Titans split their season series with each team winning on the other’s home court. Westminster defeated the Bison 69-63 in Bethany on January 8. The Bison then responded by defeating Westminster in New Wilmington by a score of 85-78 on February 5. In that victory, the Green & White showed great balance as all five starters scored in double figures and the Bison shot 52.5 percent from the field. Schott led Bethany in the win with 18 points, while senior Taylor Verrico put together a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Skylar Williams also played well, notching 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Daugherty’s Dominance: Freshman Kelsea Daugherty has had a great season so far for the green & White as she currently ranks seventh in the PAC in points per game (13.7) and ranks eighth in rebounds per contest (7.5). Since being inserted into the starting lineup by Head Coach Rebecca Upton eight games ago, Daugherty has responded nicely. The freshman forward is averaging 16.1 points and 8.5 boards per game.
She has been named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III South Region Rookie of the week, twice, including this past week for her performances against Thomas More and Waynesburg. Daugherty posted a double-double in both contests, averaging 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in her previous two games. Against Thomas More, the second-ranked team in the country, Daugherty played strong, finishing with game highs in both points (20) and rebounds (13).
Rebounding Prowess: One of the keys for Bethany’s success this year has been their ability to rebound the basketball. The Green & White currently rank second in the PAC in rebounds per game (44.7) and rebounding margin (+3.7). The Bison also rank second in the conference in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 16.0 per contest.
It has been a total group effort on the glass for the Bison, as five different players rank in the top 20 in the conference. Daugherty leads the team at 7.5, ranking her eighth. Schott ranks 14th in the league with a 6.2 average while Tipton (5.4), Gabrielle Naples (5.2) and Hayley Holenka (5.0) also rank inside the top 20.
The Bison’s top rebounding performance this season came against Chatham, when the team posted 77 rebounds, including 31 offensive boards. At the time, that was the fourth-highest rebound total in all of Division III this season.
Bethany will look to take advantage of their aggressiveness on the glass as they take on a Westminster squad that ranks seventh in the PAC in rebounding margin (-2.0).