Dec. 1 -GROVE CITY, Pa. – After battling back from a big first-half deficit, the Bethany College women’s basketball went ice cold from the floor in the second half and suffered a 55-44 setback at Grove City Saturday afternoon.
The Bison (1-5, 0-2) were in a quick hole to start, as the Wolverines (1-5, 0-2) scored the first six points of the game and the home team continued to pull away in building a 24-12 lead with seven minutes left in the half. Bethany’s offense finally got untracked at that point, as senior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) hit a three and two free throws, which was followed by a lay-up and trey from junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley).
Grove City posted the next three points, but BC’s 15-3 spurt to end the half was capped by a Verrico score and traditional three-point play by freshman Sami Scott (right - Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah), which tied the score at 27-27 going into halftime. Verrico led the charge for the Bison with 15 first-half points.
The second half opened with each team scoring six points and the score was tied at 33 with 16 minutes left. Bethany made three of their first six shots in the second half, but then cooled off from the field. The Wolverines went on a 9-0 run to grab the lead for good and BC was able to get as close as six on two occasions the rest of the half.
The final chance came when Verrico drilled a three with 3:43 on the clock to trim the Grove City lead to 49-43. But the Wolverines clinched the win by scoring six of the final seven points in the game. After making 10-of-30 from the floor in the opening half, the Bison shot a frigid 19 percent (6-31) in dropping their second conference game of the season.
The top scorer for Bethany in the defeat was Verrico (right), who buried four three-pointers and posted career-highs with 21 points and four steals. She was the lone Bison to reach double digits in the game, although Taormina recorded eight points, eight rebounds and five assists and Schott chipped in six points and three boards off the bench.
Leading Grove City in the contest was the guard combo of Leah Gibson and Kelsey Shirey with 21 and 16 points, respectively.
After traveling to Franciscan Monday for a non-conference game at 6 p.m., Bethany comes home for its next two games, beginning Wednesday with a match-up against Geneva.