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Women's Hoops Looks to Keep Pace in PAC Standings Against Thiel

Jan. 30 - BETHANY, W. Va. - The Bethany College Women’s Basketball team will look to climb back over the .500 mark as they host the Tomcats of Thiel College on Saturday afternoon. Full game notes can be seen below.

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The Bison: The Bethany women’s basketball team comes into Saturday’s contest with Thiel College having split their last four contests, including an 85-61 victory over Geneva College on Wednesday evening. The Green & White currently sit tied with Grove City in fifth place (5-6 PAC) and are just one game behind fourth-place Waynesburg (6-5) in the conference standings.

In Bethany’s previous victory over Geneva, The Bison earned the season-sweep over the Golden Tornadoes for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. In the victory, four different players scored in double figures led by freshman Kelsea Daugherty’s career-high 27. Daugherty also captured a double-double, posting a career-best 16 rebounds to go with her point total.

Other players in double figures for the Green & White included junior Mikyla Tipton, and sophomores Hayley Holenka and Lauren Simpson. Tipton posted her first-career double-double, finishing with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Holenka finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five steals, while Simpson finished with 11 points.

The Bison used a solid defensive effort in the second half, holding Geneva to just 21 points and 20 percent shooting in the second stanza. The Green & White totaled double-digit steals for the sixth time this season, led by Holenka’s five and three from sophomore Alexis Naples.

Offensively, Bethany played efficiently, sharing the ball well by totaling 22 assists in the game, their second-highest total in a game this season. The back-court tandem of Naples and Simpson managed the game well, as the duo combined for 10 assists and zero turnovers in the win.

On the year, the Bison rank fifth in the PAC in points per game (69.7) as well as scoring margin. The Green & White also rank second in the conference in rebounding margin (+3.6) and are third in three-point percentage (.341). Individually, Daugherty ranks fifth in the league in points per game (15.5) and is fourth in rebounds per contest (8.7).

The Tomcats: Thiel comes into the game having dropped five of their last six contests, including a 66-44 defeat at the hands of Washington & Jefferson. The Tomcats currently stand in a tie for seventh with Westminster (3-8), two games back of the Bison and Grove City.

In the loss to W&J, Jaclyn Watkins led the way offensively for the Tomcats, posting 11 points and eight rebounds. Thiel shot just 27 percent in the game, and was outscored 39-23 in the second half of play.

This season, the Tomcats rank sixth in the PAC in points per game (59.6) but rank last in the conference in both opponents’ points per game (76.3) as well as scoring margin (-16.7). Individually, Watkins leads the way for Thiel, ranking third in the conference in both points (18.5) and rebounds (8.8) per contest.

Last Meeting:  In the two teams’ previous meeting, the Bison defeated Thiel 70-65 in Greenville back on December 6. Neither team had more than a seven-point advantage as the contest was tightly contested throughout.

Daugherty led the way offensively for the Bison while Watkins responded for Thiel. The Bison freshman collected the first 20-point game of her career, finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Watkins scored 19 points and tallied eight boards for the Tomcats.

Double-Double Daugherty: In five of her last seven contests, Daugherty has totaled a double-double, which included one Wednesday’s win over Geneva. In that contest, Daugherty posted 27 points and 16 rebounds, both of which notched career highs.

Since December 13, Daugherty has averaged a double-double, scoring 17.7 points and adding 10.3 rebounds per contest. She has scored in double figures in eight of the ten games, eclipsing the 20-point mark five separate times. Along with those numbers, the freshman forward is also shooting 51 percent from the field.

In Daugherty’s last ten contests, she has posted five double-doubles, including three-straight in conference matchups with Thomas More, Waynesburg and Westminster. In her last three games in which the Bison have gone 2-1, Daugherty has picked up her game even further, averaging 25.6 points and 12 rebounds per night. She also scored 20+ points in three straight games, the first Bison to do so since Jenny Place in 2005-06.

Hitting the Glass: One advantage that the Bison could have on Wednesday could be their ability to get to rebounds. The Green & White have done well this season on the boards, ranking second in the PAC in rebounds per contest (43.8). The Green & White also rank second in the conference in rebounding margin, outrebounding their opponents by 3.6 per game. Individually, five different Bison rank in the top 20 in rebounds per game. Daugherty currently ranks fourth in the conference (8.7), while Schott enters the game 15th in the PAC (5.8). Holenka (5.2), Tipton (5.2) and Gabrielle Naples (4.8) also all rank among the conference’s best.

The Bison are especially talented at getting to offensive rebounds, as they are currently averaging 15.4 offensive boards per game. Earlier this season, the Bison totaled 31 offensive rebounds in a 40-point win over Chatham.

Thiel boasts two players in the top 20 in rebounds per game. Watkins is currently third in the PAC at 8.8 per game. Taylor Ketler also ranks in the top 20, coming into the game 14th (5.9. However, even with those numbers, the Tomcats rank eighth in rebounds per game (38.7) and are currently seventh in rebounding margin (-2.1).