Feb. 24 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team experienced a roller coaster type of year, en route to earning six Presidents' Athletic Conference victories and the No. 6 seed in the upcoming PAC Championship Tournament.
The Bison started the year out dropping a decision to Ohio Athletic Conference member Marietta College. Bethany would rebound, however, winning their home opener by a score of 91-76 over Penn State – Beaver. The victory saw both senior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) and sophomore Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) record a double-double.
The Bison would then drop two more contests before grabbing their first conference victory of the year with a 59-49 triumph over Grove City. In the win, sophomore Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) dropped 18 points and collected three boards.
After suffering a defeat to Hiram, Bethany would get back on track, beating PAC foe Geneva 68-62. In the comeback win, the Bison were led by Verrico, who notched a double-double, registering 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Over the remainder of the season, Bethany would capture four more conference victories, including two over Chatham and one over each Thiel and Westminster.
The most crucial victory would come against the Titans, as the Bison grabbed an impressive 85-78 triumph, which clinched the No. 6 seed in the PAC Championship Tournament.
Heading into the tournament, the Bison will look to Verrico and Schott to provide the offense. Verrico, who ranks third in the conference in scoring per contest (13.2), has notched double figures in 19 of the 25 games this season. Schott has also been a critical asset to the squad, notching 10.9 points and 7.1 boards per game.
Senior Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) , Naples and freshman Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity) will also be counted on to help Bethany make a statement in the tournament. Williams ranks fourth in the PAC in assists per game (3.6), while Naples chips in 9.8 points per contest. Simpson has been the most reliable deep threat for the Bison this year, knocking down a team-high 37 three-point baskets.
The squad will travel to Washington, Pa., to take on the No. 3 seed Washington & Jefferson in a PAC Tournament Quarterfinal match-up. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip. The winner of Tuesday's contest will advance to the PAC Semifinals Friday night, to be played on the home floor of the highest remaining seed.