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Women’s Hoops Drops Close Decision to Franciscan

Jan. 2Bethany,W. Va – The Bethany College women’s basketball team (2-6, 2-1 PAC) lost a heartbreaker to Franciscan University on Thursday, 82-78.

The visitors started the contest strong, racing out to a six-point lead (13-7) after Helen Raines converted a pair of free throws at the 14:39 mark of the first half.

Then, trailing by three points (19-16) with 11:12 to play, the Bison scored the next 13 points to grab a 29-19 lead with 7:06 remaining in the first stanza. The run was capped off when Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) found Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) under the hoop for an easy bucket.

The Barons would cut the first half deficit to as little as six (33-27) with 4:47 remaining, but the Bison would continue to control both ends of the court, entering intermission with a 42-32 advantage.

Bethany dominated the paint in the first period, outrebounding Franciscan 27-21.The Bison also grabbed nine offensive rebounds, leading to 24 points in the paint.

The second half saw Bethany continue to hold a steady lead over Franciscan, pushing their advantage to 15 points (72-57) with little under five minutes to play in the game.

The Barons were not done however, as they embarked on a 17-2 run, which gave the visitors a one-point lead (75-74) with 1:25 left in the contest

Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) quickly answered with a basket of her own, to give the Bison a one-point lead (76-75) with 1:18 remaining.

After the Barons answered with a bucket of their own to reclaim a 77-76 lead, Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) sank two free throws to put the Bison back on top 78-77 with 45 seconds to play.

Franciscan would not be denied however, as Lacey Huck would score the go-ahead basket with 31 seconds left, to push the Barons back on top 79-78.

The Bison's next possession ended in a turnover, allowing the Barons to shoot free throws down the stretch, sealing the Bison's fate, 82-78.

Verrico, who has scored in double figures in five-straight contests, led the Bison attack with 14 points. She also added seven rebounds and three assists.

Also aiding the Bison offensive attack were Tipton, Schott, and Naples. Tipton registered 13 points and two rebounds while Schott added 12 points and five boards and Naples tallied 10 points.

Bethany's next contest is on Saturday, Jan. 4, as they travel to Greenville, Pa. for a conference match with Thiel. Tipoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.