Feb. 21 – WASHINGTON, Pa. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team closed out the 2014-15 regular season, dropping a 67-60 decision to Washington & Jefferson College on Saturday afternoon in Washington.
After the Presidents opened the game on a 7-0 run, the Bison quickly responded with a 7-2 run of their own, including five points from junior Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville). Tipton’s second bucket of the run cut the W&J lead to 9-7 with just four minutes gone in the opening half.
Washington & Jefferson would retain control of the first half, eventually pushing the advantage out to nine points (32-23) with 4:35 remaining on a jumper by Beka Bellhy. However, over the final four minutes, the Bison would outscore the Presidents 10-4 to pull within three.
Junior Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) posted four points in the run, while Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside), Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier) and Tipton all added two points, each. After Bethany’s run, the Presidents would add a free throw with two seconds to play, and Bethany would find themselves down by four at the break, 37-33.
The teams went back-and-forth in the second half, trading buckets over the first seven minutes before the Bison pulled the game to its first tie, 45-45, on a jumper by Daugherty with 13:09 to play. On the Bison’s next possession, Daugherty gave Bethany its first lead of the game with a free throw, to put the Green & White up one, 46-45.
The next five minutes would be the deciding factor, as the Presidents opened a 9-1 run to take a seven-point lead with 8:17 to play. The Green & White would get no closer than three points over the rest of the second stanza, eventually falling by a 67-60 decision.
In the game, Daugherty moved into the conference lead for total double doubles as she finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The mark gave her 11 double-doubles on the season, one ahead of the Presidents’ Valerie Dunlap who has 10. Daugherty also eclipsed the 400-point mark for the season with her 20-point performance. She becomes the first Bison to accomplish the feat since 2005-06 when Jenny Place scored 499.
Other offensive leaders for the Bison included Holenka and Tipton. Holenka totaled 14 points and nine rebounds, while Tipton finished with 14 points and five boards. Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) orchestrated the offense nicely, totaling eight assists in the game.
The Bison finished the regular season with a 12-13 overall record and an 8-10 mark in the PAC, securing the sixth seed in the upcoming conference championship tournament. Thanks to their seed, the Bison will host a first-round game against the seventh-seeded Titans of Westminster College on Monday, February 23 at 7 p.m.