Feb. 1 - BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team will travel to Thiel for a PAC road contest Saturday afternoon with the winner taking over seventh place in the PAC standings. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Bison fell to 6-14 overall and 4-9 in the league with a 59-45 setback to Westminster Wednesday. Although BC had a 40-38 rebounding advantage, 22 turnovers and 29 percent shooting from the floor doomed their hopes. Junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) fired in 19 points and freshman Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio) had seven, but they were the only Bison to score more than four points.
Tipton is one of several Bison freshman who are continuing to develop throughout the season. The 5-6 first-year point guard’s production has stepped up over the last four games, which included when she tied her career-high with 14 points, including the game winning basket in a 52-50 win over Grove City Jan. 26th. In the last four contests, she is averaging 9.5 points per game, which is three more than her average for the year, and over five rebounds, which is also well above her season average.
In the Bison’s first match-up with Thiel back on Dec. 8, Tipton was one of five BC players to score double digits as the Green and White played its most complete game in a 76-47 victory. In addition to matching its season-high for points, Bethany out-rebounded the Tomcats 48-33, forced 17 Thiel turnovers and limited TC to 33 percent shooting. Senior Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) rifled in a career-high 20 points, Verrico scored 13 and Tipton turned in 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Forward Kelly Barzak was the lone Tomcat in double figures with 17 points.
Thiel (5-15, 4-9) started to find its stride with a three-game winning streak midway through January, but that has been followed by consecutive defeats to two teams in the top half of the PAC standings. On Wednesday, the Tomcats fell behind early at Saint Vincent and couldn’t recover in an 83-46 loss. Seniors Kelly Barzak and Kelly Muffley had nice games for TC, as Barzak totaled 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Muffley finished with 16 points.
The Tomcats ride the efforts of their top veteran players on the offensive end, as Thiel is scoring 60.8 points per game, ranks second in field goal percentage (42.1) and third in three-point percentage (33.1). Muffley is the PAC leader in scoring with 17.7 points per game, three-pointers with 51 and free throw percentage (95.6). Down inside, Barzak is third in the league with 16.7 points a game, fourth in rebounding (8.7) and tops in blocks (3.2).