Dec. 16 WBB vs. Hiram (L, 69-64); Dec. 17 MBB vs. St. John Fisher (L, 79-70); Dec. 31 MBB vs. Ohio Northern (1:00 p.m.)
BETHANY OFF TO BEST START IN SEVEN YEARS FOLLOWING 64-61 WIN
Dec. 15 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Behind another night of clutch shooting by junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central), the Bethany College women’s basketball team defeated Mount St. Joseph 64-61 Wednesday night for their third win in a row.
The victory also upped the Bison’s record to 6-4 for their best start since the 2003-04 campaign, which was the last time Bethany won the PAC championship. The Lions fell to 2-6 with the defeat.
The game had a sloppy beginning before BC had a strong finish to the opening half. Leading by a bucket, Bethany ripped off a 15-3 spurt to take their largest lead of the game at 30-16. Senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) buried a triple to start the run and also finished a conventional three-point play during the spurt. Sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp, Pa./Quigley) made three lay-ups as well and the run was capped by a Droginske trey.
Mount St. Joseph’s did answer back with nine of the final 12 points of the half, five of those coming on free throws, to make it a 33-25 BC advantage at the break.
The second half featured a big run by each team before a nail-biting finish. A three by Droginske gave Bethany a 44-37 lead, but MSJ responded with an 11-1 surge to claim their biggest lead of the contest at 48-45 with seven minutes to play. The Bison bounced back with nine straight to reclaim the lead. Droginske stopped the Lions run with a jumper, which was followed by a Taormina lay-up, a Droginske trifecta and another basket by Taromina for a 54-48 lead.
Mount St. Joseph’s would trim the BC lead down to one point on four separate occasions over the final four minutes, but the Bison had an answer each time. Droginske was the key figure, as she nailed four foul shots in the final 12 seconds. After her final two free throws with two seconds left, MSJ’s final desperation three from just inside half court was off the mark and Bethany held on for the win.
After pouring in a career-high 25 points in Saturday’s win at Geneva, Droginske led the Bison again. She made 5-of-6 from the floor, including all four three-pointers and all four free throws for a team-best 18 points. With another perfect night from the arc, she has now made 10 consecutive three-point attempts dating back to the first half of the Ohio-Eastern win Dec. 7.
Other Bison to total double digits were junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) with 17 points and Taormina, who recorded her first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.
The Lions’ Carolyn Holt notched a game-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.
Bethany’s fall semester schedule is now complete and they are off until after the holidays. The Bison will be back on the floor Jan. 3 at Thiel in a 6 p.m. tip-off.