BETHANY TAKES GENEVA TO OT BUT FALLS 79-68
Dec. 8 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team managed to take undefeated Geneva (Pa.) College to overtime, but the Golden Tornadoes (8-0) outscored the Bison (4-5) 15-4 in the extra session to come away with a 79-68 triumph Saturday afternoon at Hummel Field House.
The back-and-forth tilt, which had 11 ties and 12 lead changes, featured a number of mini-runs in the first half. Geneva scored the first six points of the game and the Bison didn’t even get on the board until junior guard Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) drained a triple with five minutes gone. However, that started a string of 11 consecutive points by the Bison to give them their biggest lead of the half at 11-6.
The Golden Tornadoes would answer back later in the half with a 10-0 spurt that erased a 17-13 BC lead and gave the visitors a 23-17 advantage. Allyson Clarke’s 17-point first half was capped by two buckets in the final minute, which helped Geneva build a 34-28 halftime lead. Bethany junior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) recorded 10 by the break to lead the Bison.
Off the strength of an 11-2 run early in the second half, Bethany wiped out their halftime deficit and later used a 9-0 spurt, capped by a lay-up from junior guard Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic), to build their largest lead of the game at 55-48 with 9:16 to play. However, Geneva answered with seven straight points to tie the game again and the contest would go down to the final seconds in regulation.
Bethany trailed 64-62 with under a minute to play, but freshman guard Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) evened the score on a lay-up with 27 ticks showing. The Bison then had a chance for the win after forcing a Geneva turnover on their ensuing possession. DiSanti would knife through the defense and pulled up for the game-winning shot with a second to play, but the attempt didn’t fall and the game carried into overtime.
The Golden Tornadoes controlled OT from the start, as Michawn Rich scored the opening two hoops, which was followed by a basket from Clarke to give GC a 70-64 lead. While the Bison offense would miss four of their six shots and commit three turnovers in the extra session, Geneva would go on to secure the victory by going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final 49 seconds.
Spearheading Bethany’s upset bid, which was nearly pulled off despite senior Lisa Mitchell (Burgettstown, Pa./Avella) missing all but the opening minute of the game, was freshman Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami). She recorded team-highs of 18 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
The Bison bench also played a key factor in the game, as they outscored Geneva’s subs 35-2. Harris was the crucial figure in that with a career-high 14 points, while Brandenburg tossed in a dozen and McCormick tallied nine.
Geneva’s starters were productive enough to balance out their bench, as Clarke registered 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Renee Rawding dropped in 21 and Rich finished with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Saturday was Bethany’s final game before finals and the holidays. The Bison will not return to action until Saturday, January 5th when they travel to Thiel (Pa.) College for a 1 p.m. tip-off with the Tomcat