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Dec. 3 - CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Bethany women’s basketball team opened PAC play Wednesday with an 86-59 loss at #6 Thomas More in the conference opener for both teams.

The Bison (1-5, 0-1) were forced to come back from the outset, as the Saints (6-0, 1-0) used two three-pointers from Gabby Johnson to race out to a 12-2 lead. A triple and two foul shots by BC freshman Tamara Blankenship (Clarksburg, Pa./Saltsburg) helped trim the deficit to 14-9, but TMC used another 12-2 spurt later in the half to take their biggest lead at 37-22 at the 1:40 mark.

Bethany closed the half with a flourish, as they scored seven straight points, including a three and lay-up off a steal by sophomore Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami), to cut the deficit to single digits. However, Thomas More’s Jayme Thiem capped her 14-point first half by drilling a three just before the horn to send the Saints into halftime with a 40-29 advantage.

Sophomore Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) scored 10 to pace the Bison, who were just 11-for-31 (35.5 percent) from the field in the opening stanza. Thiem was joined in double digits by Nicole Dickman, who dropped in 10 on 5-for-5 shooting to help the Saints shoot 59.3 percent (16-27) to start the game.

Bison senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) knocked down a jumper to begin the second half, which brought BC within nine. Thomas More answered by scoring eight straight points to extend their margin back out to 48-31 and the Saints would continue to pull away as they posted their 34th consecutive regular season triumph.

Blankenship led the Bison by going 6-for-6 from the foul line on her way to a career-high 11 points. Kelly Goode was the only other Bethany player in double digits with 10, while senior Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic) posted team-highs with of four rebounds and three assists.

Last year’s PAC Player of the Year, Thiem spearheaded the Saints attack with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Dickman notched 13 markers and matched Thiem with eight boards.

Wednesday’s game ended the Bison’s six-game road trip to open the year. Bethany will finally get to play at Hummel Field House Saturday at 2 p.m. when they host Waynesburg.