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Bethany Begins Final Week with Road Trip to 7th-Ranked Thomas More

Feb. 12 -BETHANY, W.Va. – Already with a berth in the PAC Tournament clinched, the Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to improve its seeding during the final week of the regular season, beginning Wednesday with a match-up at 7th-ranked Thomas More. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The Bison did not go quietly against Saint Vincent on Saturday, but did come up short in a 77-64 loss. The Green and White trailed by just five at halftime and after falling behind by as many as 22, they battled back to get within 10 before running out of steam. Three players reached double digits in the defeat, including senior Carly Garneau (Beaver Creek, Ohio/Carroll) with 18 points, senior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) with 15 and junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) with 12.

7481Braithwaite12.jpg As the season winds down, the Bison seniors playing in their final season are stepping up their production. Garneau’s last two games have been two of the better games in her career, as she’s averaging 17 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals in those outings. Taormina has broken out of a scoring slump, as she’s scoring 13.0 points in her last two games and she continues to contribute in other ways as well, averaging 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Senior Rebecca Braithwaite (right - Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) may not have big point totals, but she is averaging three assists and three rebounds in the last two games and her work on the defensive end has helped Bethany force 16.6 turnovers in the last three contests, which is above their season average.

The Bison seniors were held in check the last time BC took on Thomas More, as the Saints rolled out of Bethany with a 95-42 victory Jan. 16th. The Saints shot 53 percent from the field and forced 35 Bison turnovers in cruising to the win, which featured point guard Allison Long scoring 23 points to lead four players in double digits. The top Bison in the scoring column was Verrico with 19 and Taormina totaled eight points and eight rebounds.

Thomas More (22-1, 16-0) moved up to seventh in this week’s USA Today/WBCA Top 25 poll and remained eighth in the rankings. The Saints won their 19th in a row Saturday by forcing 31 turnovers and coasting to an 89-39 win over Thiel. Long again was the story, as she pumped in 31 points and added five steals and four assists. Also hitting double figures was Devin Beasley with 16 points and Katie Kitchen with 13.

After playing one PAC Player of the Year candidate in Saint Vincent’s Devin McGrath Saturday, the Bison get to try to control another in the Saints’ Long. She is third in the conference with 17.1 points per game and ranks second in assists (3.6) and three-pointers (54). Other top scorers include Kitchen (10.8) and Beasley (9.7) while forward Jenny Burgoyne is scoring 10.0 points per game, leads the team in rebounding with 6.1 boards a contest and is shooting 57.2 percent from the floor, the best in the league.