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BETHANY TO FACE #23 W&J WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Jan. 19 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany women’s basketball team will have their second opportunity in a week to take down a ranked opponent when they travel to #23 Washington & Jefferson Wednesday night for an 8 p.m. tip-off.
There will be no admission charge for the games at the Henry Memorial Center on W&J’s campus. In lieu of an admission charge, W&J will be accepting donations of canned goods or other nonperishable items for the Washington County Food Bank.
The game gives the Bison (4-11, 1-5) another crack against a Top 25 team, as the Presidents (13-2, 5-1) are 23rd in their week’s D3Hoops.com poll. Bethany nearly knocked off #17 Thomas More last Wednesday before dropping a 78-71 decision in overtime.
Bethany is coming off a 57-51 setback to Chatham Saturday, their fourth consecutive loss. The contest was tied at 35 in the second half, but BC went scoreless for a seven-minute stretch while the Cougars tallied 10 straight points. The Bison rallied to get within three but Chatham went 8-for-10 from the foul line down the stretch to clinch the win. Sophomore Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) fired in a team-high 13 and freshman Kayla Toarmina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) scored 11 for the Bison, who shot just 36 percent (19-53) from the field.
The Bison continue to be bit by the injury bug this season, as they managed to get one player back, but lost another. Freshman Carly Garneau (Beaver Creek, Ohio/Carroll) returned to the BC line-up Saturday for the first time since being injured Dec. 5 at Waynesburg and pitched in with five points and three boards in 12 minutes. However, sophomore Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia), Bethany’s leading rebounder (7.0) and third-leading scorer (9.6), sat out the Chatham game because of injury and is out for an indefinite period of time.
W&J comes into Wednesday’s clash on a roll, as they’ve won six in a row and have not lost since a setback to #21 Wisconsin-River Falls on Dec. 29. The most recent victory was a 65-49 win at Waynesburg Saturday, as the Presidents limited the Yellow Jackets to 28 percent shooting. Guard Jamie McKitrick tossed in a game-high 14 and forward Maggie Gibson totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Presidents are rolling behind solid, fundamental play. They rank first in the PAC in scoring defense (52.7), field goal percentage defense (34.3) and free throw percentage (75.6) and are committing the fewest turnovers in the conference (15.2). Gibson is averaging a double-double with 12.5 points per game (seventh in PAC) and 10.8 rebounds, which is tops in the circuit. Senior point guard Kennan Killeen is tossing in 11.6 points a contest and is third in the PAC, right behind Bethany’s Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs), with 3.4 assists per game.