BETHANY HOSTS CHATHAM WEDNESDAY IN CRUCIAL PAC TILT
Feb. 15 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team enters the final week of the regular season still with a chance to earn a home game in next week’s PAC Tournament Quarterfinals, but the Bison need wins their final two games, beginning Wednesday when they host Chatham at 7 p.m.
Bethany (11-12, 6-8) dropped their second straight game to a nationally-ranked opponent Saturday with an 87-62 defeat to #1 Thomas More. The Bison fell behind 45-23 at halftime and the unbeaten Saints coasted to the victory. Junior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) scored 11 points and junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) totaled nine points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Bison are currently in a tight three-team pack in the middle of the PAC standings. Alone in fourth place right now is Grove City (12-11, 7-7), who plays at #17 Saint Vincent Wednesday. BC is currently tied with Washington & Jefferson (9-14, 6-8), who is at Waynesburg Wednesday. To slide up to the fourth spot and earn the home game for the first round of next week’s tournament, the Bison will need to defeat Chatham and win at W&J Saturday, while Grove City loses twice or loses once and some other complicated scenarios break Bethany’s way.
In addition to staying in the mix for the tournament home game, Bethany will be trying to sweep the season series from Chatham. A balanced offensive attack sparked BC’s 58-50 triumph over the Cougars in Pittsburgh earlier this season. Hackathorn and sophomore Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) scored nine points each, while Hackathorn also grabbed 11 boards for the Bison, who bolted out to a 33-18 halftime lead in the game. Chatham, who was led by Kayla Hilko’s 14 points and nine rebounds, moved within six in the final two minutes, but could get no closer.
The Cougars had a three-game winning streak stopped with a loss in their last outing. Chatham held a 26-17 lead over W&J Saturday, but the Presidents shot 50 percent in the second half to come back for a 55-48 victory. The Cougars, who shot just 30 percent in the game (18-61), were led by Barb Petty and Colleen Kiss with 11 each and Felicia Brown with 10.
Scoring has been a concern for the Cougars all season, as they rank last in the league in points (53.6) and field goal percentage (34.7). Hilko, who became Chatham’s first 1,000-point scorer in program history this year, leads the offense with 9.6 points per game and is shooting 76.7 percent from the foul line. Sophomore transfer Colleen Kiss has provided a lift offensively since joining the team mid-season, averaging 9.3 points per game. Chatham is a solid defensive squad, ranking fourth in the PAC in points allowed (59.3) and they have held nine teams this year and three straight to 55 points or less.