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Bethany Looks for Upset Wednesday against #10 Thomas More

Jan. 15 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will take on its second Top-10 opponent this season when it hosts 10th-ranked Thomas More in a PAC match-up Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

The stiff test comes on the heels of the Bison (5-10, 3-5) dropping a 64-56 decision to Washington & Jefferson Saturday, their fifth loss in the last six games. Although they led by seven in the first half, BC went cold from the floor and W&J rallied to take a halftime lead. Bethany was never able to get closer than three in the second half. Senior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) hit for 12 as well.
During this recent stretch, the Bison have been struggling from the three-point line. Since making a season-best 10 treys in the Dec. 8th win over Thiel, the Green and White have made just 23-of-103 attempts from the arc (22.3 percent) and overall in eight PAC games, Bethany is making 24.7 percent of their attempts from deep, which ranks ninth in the league. Verrico (right) is the team’s top three-point shooter, as she is tied for sixth in the PAC with 25 triples this year.

Wednesday will be the Bison’s second match-up with a top-ranked opponent this year. On Nov. 20th, BC traveled to Mount Union, who was ranked #4 at the time and is still ranked 25th in the Top 25 poll. Bethany fell behind by 14 at halftime to the Purple Raiders, but did outscore Mount Union in the second half before falling 59-46. Taormina (13 points) and Verrico (10) were the top scorers that night for the Bison.

Thomas More (14-1, 8-0) sits atop the PAC standings and moved up to 10th in the country this week on the strength of an 11-game winning streak. The Saints lone loss came to #2 Calvin (Mich.) College Nov. 23, but since then, they have won seven games by 20 or more points. One of the closest finals was Saturday when TMC beat Saint Vincent 63-50. The Saints trailed by six in the first half, but used a 22-0 run to close the opening period and cruised to the win. A trio of guards led the scoring with Allison Long netting 15 and Katie Kitchen and Devin Beasley scoring 13 apiece.

In addition to a high-scoring offense, as Thomas More leads the conference with 73.7 points per game, the Saints also get it done on defense. They allow 53.3 points a game, second-lowest in the circuit, and also force a PAC-high 23.9 turnovers per contest. Long enters Wednesday as the top scorer in the PAC with 16.9 points per game and is also first in three-pointers (34) and third in assists (3.3). Kitchen is chipping in 11.3 points, while Jenny Bergoyne (10.1) and Devon Beasley (10.0) are also scoring in double figures.