Feb. 14 – BETHANY, W. Va. – Despite four players in double figures and double-doubles from both sophomore Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) and freshman Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier), the Bison women’s basketball team (12-11, 8-8) dropped a hard-fought matchup with Waynesburg University, 69-67, on Saturday afternoon.
The first half of action was a back-and-forth affair that saw seven ties and five lead changes over the first 20 minutes of play. With the Green & White down by one (13-12) with 13:58 to play, the Bison would take advantage of a 9-2 run to jump out to their largest lead of the opening stanza.
A three pointer by Holenka gave Bethany a two-point advantage (15-13). After a free-throw by Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) put the Bison up by three, Waynesburg cut the lead back to one on a back by Addy Knetzer. Following that bucket, Daugherty rattled off five-straight points, including a fast-break layup with 11:07 remaining, to give the Green & White a 21-15 lead.
Waynesburg would immediately respond, using a 6-0 run to knot the game for a fourth time at 21-21 with 9:32 to play. The team’s would then see-saw, finding themselves tied three more times in the half, including 29-29 with 3:34 to go on a Yellow Jacket basket by Heather Davis.
The Yellow Jackets would close out the first half on a 7-2 run, and Bethany would find themselves down by five (36-31) at intermission.
Daugherty and Waynesburg’s Rebecca Kerr led the way for their respective sides in the opening stanza. Daugherty posted 11 points and five rebounds in just 11 minutes of work, while Kerr countered with 10 points and four steals for the Yellow Jackets.
Waynesburg would make the first move in the second half, pushing the advantage to eight points (46-38) with 15:03 to play. From there, however, the Bison would put together another 6-0 run to slim the margin back to two points. Daugherty hit back-to-back buckets, and was followed by a score from Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) which cut the Yellow Jacket advantage to 46-44 with 11:58 to go.
The Bison’s deficit would then fluctuate between two points and eight points for the next nine minutes of the game. The second stanza was tightly contest, with the lead never ballooning into double figures.
With 1:58 remaining in the contest, the Bison still found themselves down by eight points, 69-61. However, timely shots by the Bison and missed free throw from the Yellow Jackets down the stretch, would set the Green & White up with a chance to send to snag the victory or send the contest to overtime.
Bethany closed the gap in the final two minutes with a 6-0 which started on a free-throw by Tipton. After a missed attempt by the Yellow Jackets, the Green & White received a timely three-point basket by Holenka to trim the lead to four points, 69-65.
Another foul by the Bison sent Waynesburg to the line yet again. For the second time in a row, the Yellow Jackets’ Lauren Blair missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Daugherty came away with the rebound. On the ensuing Bethany possession, Tipton once again came up big, slashing into the lane to cut the Waynesburg lead to two, 69-67.
After a Bethany timeout, the Bison applied full-court pressure on the Waynesburg inbounds pass and sophomore Alexis Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) tied up Kerr for a jump ball, giving possession back to the Bison with eight seconds to play.
The Green & White had time for one final play and the ball found its way into the hands of Tipton, who drove the lane and put up a shot from close range. The shot and ensuing tip-in attempt were both off the mark and the Bison succumbed to the two-point difference, 69-67.
In the game, the Bison received solid performances from a number of different players, including double-doubles from both Holenka and Daugherty. Daugherty posted 19 points and 11 boards for her ninth double-double of the season, while Holenka posted 15 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for her second.
Other offensive leaders for Bethany included Tipton and Schott. Tipton finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Schott was just one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards.
The Green & White will be back in action on Wednesday, February 18, when they finish the home portion of their regular season against Grove City College. The contest is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.