BETHANY LOOKS TO BUILD MORE MOMENTUM WEDNESDAY AGAINST W&J
Jan. 18 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After pulling out a conference win on the road Saturday, the Bethany College women’s basketball team (7-8, 2-5) will try to build more momentum for the second half of the PAC schedule when they host Washington & Jefferson (6-9, 4-3) Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The Bison broke a four-game losing streak with a 58-50 triumph at Chatham Saturday. After racing out to a 15-point halftime lead, BC saw their advantage get trimmed down to six with 1:31 left. The Green and White would hold off the Cougars after warming up from the foul line, as they made 5-of-6 in the final minute. Bethany showed great balance offensively, as no one scored in double figures but five players scored seven or more. Junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park), who also snared a game-high 11 rebounds, and sophomore Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) both led the way with nine points.
Balance is the key word when looking at the Bethany attack as through 15 games this season, eight different players have led the team in points. Although they rank fourth in the PAC in scoring with 62.9 points per game, no one from BC is averaging in double digits. Sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) is tops on the squad with 9.4 points per game followed closely by junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) with 9.2 and junior Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) at 8.9.
Much like on the men’s side, Bethany/W&J is one of the longest running rivalries in the PAC. The Presidents, who lead the series 46-31, have held the upper hand lately, winning 12 of the last 14 and five straight from the Bison. W&J swept all three meetings last year, although every game was tightly contested. Bethany led both regular season match-ups at halftime before W&J recovered to win both by 10 points. Then in last year’s PAC Tournament Quarterfinals, BC nearly stunned the Presidents behind 28 points and 14 rebounds from Hackathorn, but the Presidents scored the winning basket with just five seconds to play for a 66-65 win.
W&J has been a traditional power in the league recently, as they brought a streak of eight consecutive 20-win seasons into this year. It’s been a transition year for the Presidents however, as they find themselves in the middle of the pack in the conference rather than fighting for a top spot. They come into Wednesday’s game off a 78-65 loss to Waynesburg Saturday, which snapped a 27-game winning streak over the Yellow Jackets. Although W&J senior guard Catlyn Kriston drained five three-pointers and finished with 17 points, the Presidents were out-rebounded 43-23 and couldn’t slow down Waynesburg in the second half, as they shot 50 percent from the floor.
The Presidents’ offensive output is very similar to Bethany’s, as no one is averaging more than nine points per game and they have also had eight different players lead them in scoring in a game. Sophomore guard Emily Abraham is the top point producer at 9.2 and is also leading the PAC with 31 three-pointers. Junior forward Ashley Kirkpatrick, who missed the first eight games because of injury, is next with 8.3 points per game and junior point guard Vanessa Rivera is posting 8.0 points and a PAC-best 5.3 assists per game.