Feb. 10 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to take another step towards clinching the fourth seed and a first round home game for the PAC Tournament Saturday when its travels to Thiel for a 1 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison (13-9, 9-6) lost for just the second time in the last six games Wednesday with a 74-56 defeat at Waynesburg. Turnovers hampered BC all game, as 24 miscues were converted into 22 Yellow Jacket points. Junior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half, while seniors Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia), who posted 10 points and nine rebounds, and Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park), who finished with 11 points and seven boards, had solid games in the scoring column and on the glass.
As Shepherd’s final season is winding down, she is turning in her most productive stretch of games this season. Over the last six contests, she has scored in double digits four times and is averaging 10.7 points per game in addition to hauling down 7.5 rebounds a contest. A 35 percent shooter from the arc for the year, she is sinking 47 percent (7-15) during this stretch, as well as 81 percent (11-15) from the foul line.
Another BC senior continues her march towards a career milestone. With 985 career points, senior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) is 15 away from becoming the 15th women’s player in Bethany history to reach 1,000. If Wilson has a typical game she has traditionally put up against Thiel, she will make a run at history Saturday. In nine career games versus the Tomcats, Wilson is averaging 13.1 points, including three games with 16 or more.
In the first meeting between Bethany and Thiel this season on Jan. 11th, Wilson played a starring role in the Green and White’s 76-63 win. She fired in 10 of her 12 points in the opening half to help stake the Bison to a 40-29 halftime advantage. The Tomcats closed the deficit inside of 10 only once after that and Bethany claimed its fifth win in the last six meetings with Thiel. In addition to Wilson’s dozen points, Hackathorn and Taormina both had 14, which countered the 19 points and 12 rebounds recorded by TC’s Kelly Muffley.
Thiel (6-16, 6-9) finds itself tied for sixth place in the league standings with Grove City, one game behind Westminster (7-15, 7-8) and two games behind the Bison. The Tomcats broke a four-game losing streak Wednesday night by handing Geneva a 72-42 setback. Leading by nine at halftime, TC matched a season-high for points in a half by putting 40 on the board after the break while holding the Golden Tornadoes to only four buckets and 19 points. Forward Ashley Davis had game-highs with 18 points and eight rebounds and forward Kelly Barzak scored 16 and swatted away seven shots.
The Tomcats attack is shouldered mainly by three players, as Muffley (13.8 points per game/sixth in the PAC), Barzak (12.8/eighth) and Davis (11.5/11th) account for more than 64 percent of the team’s output each game. Muffley is also second in the conference with 44 three-pointers and Barzak is a force down low, leading the circuit in blocks (3.0), ranking second in field goal percentage (50.7) behind only Bethany’s Hackathorn (56.7) and sitting fourth in rebounding (7.8).
Fans that can not make the trip to Thiel for the games can follow the action live from their home computer. Both the women’s and men’s games on Saturday will be video streamed live as the “Games of the Week” by the PAC Sports Network at http://www.pacstream.net/ .