BETHANY TRAVELS TO CHATHAM HOPING TO WIN SIXTH STRAIGHT
Feb. 13 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany women’s basketball team can clinch a home game for the first round of the PAC Tournament with a victory at Chatham Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.
The Bison (12-10, 6-5) ran their winning streak to five games Wednesday night with a 67-59 triumph at Grove City. BC led by just two at halftime, but senior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) scored all of her team-high 13 points in the second half to help Bethany pull away. The Bison also forced 27 GCC turnovers in the game, which they converted into 33 points. Joining McCormick in double digits was sophomore Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) and freshman Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) with 11 each.
The season-long five-game winning streak also matches the Bison’s longest run in five years. The Green and White won five in a row late last season as well on their way to a 15-11 finish. If BC can be victorious Saturday, it would give them their longest victory stretch since a school-record 18-game streak in 2003-04, which was the last year Bethany won the PAC championship.
The Bison bucked a couple of season-long trends to pick up the win over Grove City. The top-ranked team in the PAC in offensive rebounds (15.95), BC hauled down a season-low six offensive boards Wednesday, which improved their record to 3-5 when they are held under 15 offensive caroms. Overall against Grove City, Bethany was out-rebounded 38-31. It was the first time in eight games this year BC pulled out a victory when they were at a disadvantage on the glass.
Bethany’s current string of eight wins in the last nine games started with the first meeting against Chatham Jan. 14 at Hummel Field House. The Cougars led 25-22 at halftime, but BC seized the momentum with a 13-1 run early in the second half and still led 51-41 with 2:18 to play. Chatham’s Barb Petty nearly brought her team all the way back with 13 consecutive points to bring the visitors within a basket, but the Bison finally clinched the win by going 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 32 seconds.
Senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) paced the offense with 13 points, while freshman Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) scored 12 and McCormick totaled 10 for the Bison, who improved to 9-0 all-time against the Cougars. Petty’s big outburst at the end gave her a game-high 22 points and she added eight rebounds as well in the defeat.
Chatham (10-12, 2-9) has dropped five of their last seven games, but those setbacks have come by an average of just 7.6 points per game. Wednesday was another tight loss for the Cougars, who were in front 29-24 at halftime at Westminster, but the Titans rallied for a 54-50 victory. Kayla Hilko posted big numbers in the loss with 23 points, eight rebounds and five steals, but as a team, Chatham shot just 33 percent (17-51) and was out-rebounded 35-28.
Offensively, the Cougars rank ninth in the PAC with 54.7 points per game, but they boast a stingy defense that ranks third in the conference in points allowed (56.5) and second in opponents’ field goal percentage (36.0). Hilko’s 13.2 points per game leads the team and is ranked ninth in the PAC. Petty is second with 11.0 points a contest and is tops on the squad with 50 steals.