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Feb. 16 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team used a big second half to beat Chatham 65-59 in Hummel Field House Wednesday night and pick up a key conference victory.

With the win, the Bison move into a fourth place tie with Grove City (12-12, 7-8), who lost at #14 Saint Vincent Wednesday night. The win improves BC’s record to 7-8 in the PAC and 12-12 overall. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 9-15 overall and 4-11 in conference play.

The first half saw both teams out of sync and the respected defenses had a lot to do with it. The largest lead was three by the Cougars and the game went back and forth the whole first half, as the teams exchanged turnovers and baskets throughout the first half. A jumper with 25 seconds in the half by junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) cut the Chatham lead to 18-17 at the half.

The Bison shot just 23 percent (7-31) in the first half, but pounded the glass with 13 offensive rebounds and turned them into 13 second chance points. Junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) paced the Bison with nine points while also pulling down six rebounds.

The BC defense allowed Chatham to shoot only 19 percent from the field (4-21) in the first half and forced them into 14 turnovers. The Cougars however did convert on 9-of-10 free throws in the first half to the Bison’s 3-for-3 from the foul line. Chatham was led by Felicia Brown and Colleen Kiss with four points each.

The second half saw both offenses get into more of a rhythm. Hackathorn’s layup with 14:44 remaining in the game tied it 30 for the first time since the score was 5-5 early in the first half. The team’s would exchange baskets until freshmen Taylor Verrico’s (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) three-pointer gave the Bison their first lead of the game 35-32 with 12:20 remaining and started a quick 8-0 run for the Bison. In the run, junior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) would hit a three and junior Anne Wilson’s (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) two free throws made the score 40-32.

The largest lead for the rest of the game would be 11 for the Bison with just over 11 minutes remaining. Chatham would close the gap to 56-51 when Kiss knocked down her second three in consecutive possessions, but BC would make five free throws in the last minute to clinch the victory.

The Bison hit just 31 percent from the field, but out-rebounded the Cougars 48-29, including 23 points coming off a season-high 20 offensive rebounds. Hackathorn led the way for the Bison with game-highs of 19 points and eight rebounds. Wilson would chip in 11 points, with nine (9-for-10) of them coming from the free throw line.

Chatham was led by Barb Petty and Kiss with 14 points apiece, while Sonjia Hoston grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

The Bison will be traveling to Washington & Jefferson Saturday afternoon with the fourth seed in the PAC Tournament at stake. Bethany will be looking for a victory which could give them a first round home game in the PAC tournament the following week. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

By Nate Tieman
Sports Information Student Assistant