Feb. 6 - BETHANY, W. Va. - Having dropped their previous contest to nationally ranked Thomas More College, the Bison women's basketball team will look to get back on track as they travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. to take on Chatham University. Full game notes can be viewed below.
The Bison: The Bethany women’s basketball team travels to Pittsburgh, Pa. on Saturday having won three of their previous five contests, which includes conference victories over Grove City, Geneva and Thiel. The Bison currently stand tied with Grove City for fifth place in the PAC, just one game behind Waynesburg for fourth.
In their last contest, the Bison dropped a 90-52 decision to Thomas More College, who came into the game ranked second in all of Division III. In the loss to the Saints, Hayley Holenka led the way offensively, posting ten points. Kelsea Daugherty and Carly Grady each added nine and Sami Schott posted a game-high 11 rebounds.
With five games left in the regular season, the Bison currently rank fifth in the PAC in scoring offense (68.8), and are also fifth in the conference in scoring margin. The Green & White are currently fifth in field goal percentage, but rank third in the conference in three-point percentage (.336).
Individually, the Bison have been led this season by Daugherty who ranks fifth in the PAC in points per game (15.8). She also ranks in the top five in the conference in rebounds per game, averaging 8.6 per contest.
Holenka is currently averaging 12.1 points per game, with Tipton also ranks in the top 20, scoring 9.6 points per night.
The Cougars: Chatham comes into the contest having dropped five-consecutive games, including a 55-53 defeat at the hands of Thiel College in their previous contest. The Cougars currently sit tied for ninth place in the conference with Geneva College, just one game behind Westminster for a potential playoff spot.
In the loss to Thiel, the Cougars saw an eight-point halftime advantage disappear as they dropped the two-point decision. Emily Schmidt led the way for Chatham in the contest, posting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rachael McClain was the team’s leading scorer with 12, while Jessica Manfredi also scored 10 in the game.
Chatham comes into the contest ranked eighth in the PAC in scoring offense (57.3) and seventh in scoring margin (-14.3). The Cougars are shooting just .342 from the field this season, while ranking
last in the PAC in opponents’ field goal percentage (.439).
Individually, Chatham has been led this season by Rachel McClain who is tied for tenth in the conference in points per game (12.1). Megan Sieg also averages double figures for the Cougars, coming into the game scoring 10.8 points per game.
Last Meeting: In the two teams’ previous meeting in Bethany, the Bison walked away with their largest margin of victory the team has seen this season, defeating Chatham 85-45 on Jan. 3. In the game, the Bison procured 77 rebounds, and outrebounded the Cougars 77-33. In the win, nine different players scored at least six points, led by Kelsea Daugherty’s 18. Lauren Simpson finished the contest with 11, while Schott totaled nine points and 10 rebounds.
Alexis Naples filled the stat sheet in the win, scoring eight points, while adding seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Player of the Week: For her performance in back-to-back wins last week, Daugherty began to receive National recognition. Not only was the freshman named the PAC Player of the Week, and the ECAC Division III South Region Player of the Week, but Daugherty was also named to the National Team of the Week by D3Hoops.com.
It marks the first time in her career that the freshman forward has earned the award, and she deserved it, averaging a double-double in wins over Geneva and Thiel last week. Daugherty posted 27 points and 14 rebounds per game while shooting 66.7 percent on the week.
Since being inserted into the starting lineup 15 games ago, Daugherty has posted seven of her double-doubles while averaging 17.7 points per game. During that same time period she has also averaged 9.4 rebounds per contest.
Daugherty became the first Bison to be named to the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week since Renee Brandenburg earned the distinction twice in 2008-09.
Hitting the Glass: The Green & White have done well on the boards this season as they are fourth in the PAC in rebounding margin (+3.2). The Bison are also tied for second in the conference in offensive rebounding, averaging 15.0 per contest.
Bethany does a nice job of rebounding by committee, as four different starters, and five players overall, rank in the top 20 in the PAC in rebounds per game. Daugherty comes in ranked fourth (8.6) while Schott (15th - 5.9), Holenka and Tipton (18th - 4.9) and Gabrielle Naples (20th - 4.8) all rank in the top 20. Daugherty also comes into the contest as the PAC’s top offensive rebounder, averaging 3.9 per game.
The last time the Bison and Cougars got together, the Green & White posted their best performance of the year on the glass. In the 40-point win, the Bison outrebounded Chatham by 44, getting a season-best 31 offensive rebounds and 77 overall, which at the time was the fourth highest total in all of Division III.
In the win, Bethany has six players register at least seven rebounds, led by a career-high 17 from Gabrielle Naples. That total still proves to be the most by any Bison this season. Celestia Hendrix finished the contest with a career-best 11 boards while Schott totaled 10. Daugherty finished with nine while Tipton and Alexis Naples finished with eight and seven, respectively.
The Bison will look to use their rebounding strength to their advantage once again as they take on a Chatham squad that ranks last in the conference in rebounding margin (-16.9)
New Look Playoff Format: With the regular season winding down, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference teams continue to jockey for position in the new PAC Playoff format. The Bison currently stand in fifth place, and if the standings hold, would host Westminster in an opening round playoff game.
This season, the top four seeds will receive a bye into the quarterfinals, with the top two seeds automatically reaching the PAC semis which will take place at the top seeds home gym.
With five games remaining, the top three seeds seem virtually set. However, the Bison could still climb into the fourth seed to take a first-round bye.