Feb. 1 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After sweeping a PAC doubleheader at home Wednesday, the Bethany College men’s and women’s basketball teams hit the road again Saturday for a twinbill at Geneva (Pa.) College. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the men will begin around 7:30 p.m.
Since Geneva is a provisional member of the NCAA and ineligible to win the PAC title, neither game will count in the league standings.
After dropping two straight, the Bison women (10-8) regained their winning form Wednesday with a decisive 77-50 victory over Waynesburg. BC led 59-50 with over eight minutes to play, but the Green and White closed the game with an 18-0 blitz that sent them to their largest win of the season. Freshman guard Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) tallied a game-high 21 points and twin sister Stacy Goode recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 steals, the second-most in a game in Bethany history.
The Bison defense continues to be one of the top units in the PAC. They held Waynesburg to 32.3 percent shooting Wednesday, the second-lowest percentage posted by a BC foe this season. But it’s the Bethany pressure that is causing the most problems. The Bison are forcing the most turnovers per game in the conference (25.7) and have caused 30 or miscues in four of the last eight contests, including 37 against Waynesburg. Bethany is also averaging 17.6 steals over the last five games, which included making 20 or more thefts in three of those contests.
Bethany nearly won the first meeting with Geneva this season because of its defense. After freshman Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) tied the game on a bucket with 27 seconds left, BC forced a turnover and had a chance for the win. However, they missed a shot at the buzzer and the Golden Tornadoes scored the first six points of OT, which propelled them to a 79-68 victory. Kelly Goode and Harris led Bethany with 18 and 14 points respectively, while Geneva’s Allyson Clarke finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds.
Clarke’s huge season continued Wednesday in the Golden Tornadoes’ victory at Washington & Jefferson. She recorded her 14th double-double of the year with 28 points and 12 rebounds, as Geneva improved to 15-3 with a 64-60 win over the Presidents, giving them a sweep of the season series. Renee Rawding added 17 points and Michawn Rich, who had a double-double in the first meeting with the Bison (15 pts., 10 rebs.), nearly had another against W&J with nine points and 11 boards.
Offensively, Geneva is paced by Rawding with 18.3 points per game and Clarke with 17.0 points and a PAC-leading 10.2 rebounds per game. The Golden Tornadoes are also tough on the defensive end of the floor, as the 68 points Bethany scored in the first match-up is tied for the most allowed by Geneva this season. Overall, they are second in the league in points allowed (50.7), field goal percentage (33.8) and rebounding margin (+6.6).
In the nightcap, Bethany’s men (12-7) will be trying to stretch their winning streak to seven games. They won their sixth straight Wednesday with an 82-78 decision over Waynesburg. BC rolled to a 49-25 halftime lead, only to see the advantage disappear in the second period and trail 72-65 with five minutes to play. Bison senior guards Brody Jackson (Akron, Ohio/Manchester) and Marcus Adams (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) accounted for every point during the Bison’s game-ending 17-6 run that salvaged the win and moved Bethany 1 ½ game in front of Grove City for the top spot in the PAC. Jackson finished with a season-high 30 markers in the win, while sophomore forward Joe Testa (Amity, Pa./Trinity) notched 14 points and seven rebounds.
Jackson’s huge game has him on the cusp of a career milestone. The second-leading scorer in the PAC at 19.3, he has 980 career points and is 20 away from becoming the 21st player in Bethany history to reach 1,000. Although scoring 20 would be above his average, the 6-0 guard has scored that many or more in a game nine times this season, including four of the last six contests.
The first time these teams met this season saw Bethany record a 96-81 victory, which was the 100th in head coach Aaron Huffman’s career. Jackson spearheaded the BC attack with 18 points and five assists, while junior forward Petre Petkovski (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) had 15 and junior guard Tyler Morando (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) delivered 14. For the Golden Tornadoes, Zac Northen finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Mike Ross came off the bench to score 15.
Geneva has dropped two straight and brings a 10-9 record into Saturday’s tilt. On Wednesday, the Golden Tornadoes lost an intense battle at Washington & Jefferson 76-75. Although Geneva shot 52 percent (29-56) from the field, they were out-rebounded 38-29, which included allowing 19 offensive rebounds. Guard Justin Nardi amassed 19 points and eight assists and forward Greg McDivitt dropped in 17 in the setback.
The Golden Tornadoes have a solid inside-outside balance, with McDivitt totaling 16.3 points and 7.9 rebounds in the paint. On the perimeter, Bryan Hill is scoring 14.4 points per game and is ranked first in the PAC in threes per game (3.81) and fourth in three-point percentage (44.5). Northen (9.9 ppg., 52 FG%) and Nardi (8.5 ppg., 85 FT%) are also strong contributors.