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Women's Hoops Aims to Keep Rolling at Saint Vincent

Jan. 23 - BETHANY, W. Va. - Coming off a 68-66 victory over Grove City College, the Bison women's basketball team looks to carry that momentum into the second half of the conference season as they travel to Saint Vincent College on Saturday. Full game notes can be viewed below.

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The Bison: The Bison women’s basketball team finished the first half of their conference campaign with their best record since the 2011-12 season after defeating Grove City, 68-66, for the program’s eighth victory of the year.

In the win over the Wolverines the Bison forced 24 Grove City turnovers and held them to 38 percent shooting in the second half.

Individually, the Bison were led in the contest by freshman Kelsea Daugherty who posted a double-double with a career high 26 points to go along with 15 rebounds. Her 26 points were the most scored by a Bison this season. The 15 rebounds also tied a career high for the freshman who was playing in just her 16th career contest.

Other notable performances for the Bison in the win included Sami Schott and Mikyla Tipton. Schott posted 11 points in the victory, while Tipton finished with a solid, all-around effort, totaling 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.

So far this season, the Bison rank fifth in the PAC in points per game (68.6) while ranking eighth in opponents’ points per contest (71.9). Daugherty continues to climb the ranks of conference leaders, ranking fourth in the conference in rebounds per game (8.5) and seventh in points per outing (14.3).

The Bearcats: Saint Vincent enters the contest as on of the conference’s top teams, having posted an 8-2 record over their last ten games. Saint Vincent currently sits second in the PAC at 8-1 and have recently received votes in the D3hoops.com top 25 poll.

The Bearcats are coming off a big victory over Thiel College, defeating the Tomcats by a 103-58 score on Wednesday. It marked the second time this season that the Bearcats have eclipsed the 100-point mark.

In the win, Taylor Mathers led the way, scoring 23 points and adding seven rebounds. Jasmine Weems also played well, finishing with 18 points in a reserve role. Others that scored in double figures included starters Ally Schmidt (14) and Jill Kegg (11).

On the year, Saint Vincent has been one of the most dominating teams in the PAC, outscoring opponents by an average of 25.5 points per contest. The Bearcats come into the game scoring 83.8 points per game, while holding opponents to just 58.2 points per contest.

Last Meeting: In the teams’ first meeting this season, the Bison dropped a 99-71 decision to Saint Vincent in Hummel Field House on December 3. All five starters scored in double figures for Saint Vincent, led by 20 points from Taylor Mathers. Mara Benvenuti added 16 while Drew Meeker also scored 16 points.

The Bison countered with 23 points from Hayley Holenka who accomplished the feat on 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Daugherty scored 16 in the contest while Gabrielle Naples and Lauren Simpson chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.

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 (14.3) while ranking fourth in rebounds per contest (8.5). Since being inserted into the starting lineup by Head Coach Rebecca Upton against Saint Vincent 11 games ago, Daugherty has continued to improve. In those 11 contests, she is averaging 16.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per night.

Over her last five contests, however, Daugherty has once again stepped up her game, posting a double-double in four of those five games. In that stretch against conference opponents, she has averaged 17 points and 13 rebounds per contest.

On Saturday, Daugherty will be tasked with going head-to-head with Saint Vincent’s Taylor Mathers who is also having a solid season. Mathers currently ranks second in the PAC in points per game (19.4) and ranks just behind Daugherty in rebounds per contest (5th - 8.3).

Defending the Three: A big key for the Bison in defending Saint Vincent will be how well the Green & White can run the Bearcats off of the three-point line.

Saint Vincent comes into the game averaging 8.3 made threes per contest. That number is 2.5 per game higher than the second place team (Thomas More - 5.8). The Bearcats also shoot the ball efficiently from deep, hitting on 36 percent as a team from long range.

Bethany, however, ranks third in the PAC in three pointers allowed (70) and is allowing teams to shoot just 30.2% from distance, ranking second in the conference.

Hitting the Glass: The Bison, who rank second in the conference in rebounds per game (43.7) have outrebounded their opponent on eight different occasions this season. In those games, Bethany has posted a 7-1 record. On the reverse side, when the Bison lose the rebounding battle, the Green & White are currently 1-6 on the year.
 
Saint Vincent also rebounds the ball well this season, ranking second in the PAC in rebounding margin (+3.6). Whoever can out rebound their opponent could have a big edge in Saturday’s matchup.