Dec. 10 – HIRAM, Ohio – The Bethany College women’s basketball team (2-4, 1-1 PAC) erased an 11-point second-half deficit, but would eventually fall 73-60 to Hiram College on Tuesday evening.
With the contest tied at 6-6 early in the first half, the Terriers would spark a 13-2 run to take a 19-8 advantage with 11:25 to play. Freshman Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity) would answer the call off the bench, single-handedly pulling the Bison back within two points (19-17) on three consecutive three-point baskets.
Hiram would run the lead back out to eight points (27-19) on a 8-2 run with 6:34 remaining, but Simpson would keep it close, draining her fourth three-pointer of the half to keep Bethany within striking distance (27-22) with 5:42 left on the clock.
After Simpson’s fourth three-point basket, the Bison were held to just two more buckets over the final six minutes of the half, and would go into the break trailing by 11 points (37-26).
Simpson and Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) kept the Bison afloat in the first half of play, as the two combined to score 22 of the team’s 26 points in the frame. Bethany was outscored heavily on the inside, as Hiram notched 22 points in the paint. The Terriers also outrebounded the Bison 31-14 in the first frame, which included 14 offensive boards leading to 15 second-chance points.
In the second half of play, the Bison would come out of the locker room swinging, as Bethany outscored Hiram 18-6 over the first eight minutes. Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) got the Bison going, hitting her first three-pointer of the night to cut the lead to single digits (37-29).
After chipping away at the lead over the next five minutes, Verrico tied the game at 42-42 on a jumper with 13:20 to play. Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) then gave Bethany its first lead of the contest (44-42) on a basket with 12:42 remaining in the contest. However, that is the last lead that the Bison would have.
Over the final 12:30 of the contest, Bethany was outscored 31-16, as the Terriers would go on for the 13- point victory (73-60).
Individually, Simpson eclipsed her previous career high of 12 points, as she finished the contest with 18, hitting on 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line. Verrico joined her in double figures with 15 and Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) added 11.
Bethany will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 14, as the Bison travel to Beaver Falls to take on Geneva College. Presidents’ Athletic Conference action against the Golden Tornadoes is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip.