BETHANY GOES TO GROVE CITY WEDNESDAY TO OPEN PAC PLAY
Nov. 29 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The PAC portion of the schedule will begin Wednesday for the Bethany College women’s basketball team when the Bison travel to Grove City for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
The beginning portion of the schedule saw BC compile a 1-3 non-conference record with two losses coming by single digits. Bethany did build some momentum for Wednesday’s initial league game with a convincing 74-50 triumph over Franciscan Monday night. Twelve different players scored, led by senior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) and junior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Monaca) with 10 apiece.
The Bison defense played a big role in the victory Monday. They forced 31 Franciscan turnovers, the most by a BC opponent since Grove City turned it over 36 times in a Jan., 2009 game, and those miscues were turned into 37 Green and White points. Bethany has been one of the top teams in the conference so far in creating turnovers, as the Bison are forcing 21.8 per game so far, the second-highest total in the league.
Bethany’s offensive attack is paced by Taormina, who is the lone double-figure scorer with 12.3 points per game. The 5-8 guard has notched 10 or more in three games this year, highlighted by a 17-point effort in a setback against Marietta, and is ranked third in the PAC in field goal percentage at 58.1. Senior forward Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) is second with 9.8 points per game and is leading the squad in rebounding with 7.3 boards a game.
The senior back court of Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) and Droginske are also off to solid starts. Wilson is putting in 7.5 points per game and leads the team with 12 assists and 11 steals. Droginske has averaged 7.0 points through the first four games and is the team’s top three-point shooter at 54.5 percent (6-11).
Bethany and Grove City are meeting for the opening PAC game of the year after the teams also faced off in the PAC Tournament a season ago. In the quarterfinal round, the Wolverines came away with a 66-59 victory on the road over the Bison. Trailing by five at halftime, GCC mounted a comeback behind incredible free throw shooting, as Grove City was 21-for-21 in the second half to rally for the win. The Wolverines had four players notch double digits, led by Megan Gebrosky with 18, which countered 19 points from Wilson for Bethany.
The series between the two teams is close, with Grove City holding a 31-28 advantage. Last year’s tournament result has been the trend in recent meetings between the schools in that the home teams has won just three of the last 10 match-ups. The road team was victorious all three times last year, including a 69-65 triumph by Bethany on GCC’s home floor. Taormina went for 20 points in the win, which was the Bison’s fifth in their last six trips to Grove City.
The Wolverines are also off to a 1-3 start this season, with the lone victory being a 55-54 decision over Alvernia in the opening round of the North Carolina Wesleyan Tournament. Grove City would lose in the title game to the host school and in its most recent action, fell by a 73-43 count at home to Carnegie Mellon. The Wolverines shot an abysmal 26 percent (18-70) in the loss and were outrebounded 48-33. Junior Leah Gibson was the lone player to reach double digits with 10.
Grove City, who is last in the PAC in scoring at 50.2 points per game, is led by a pair of guards offensively. Gebrosky is averaging 11.3 points per game, while Gibson is at an even 10.0 markers per contest. The Wolverines are second behind only the Bison in three-pointers made with 21 so far this year, with Gebrosky (eight) and Gibson (five) being the top shooters. Freshman Kelsey Shirey and sophomore Hannah Jo Coneby are atop the team rankings in rebounding with 4.3 boards per game.