Feb. 2 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Despite three players scoring in double figures, the Bethany College women’s basketball team could not overcome big runs by Thiel to open both halves, as the Tomcats went on to post a 69-55 victory over the Bison Saturday afternoon.
The game opened with a huge surge by Thiel, as Kelly Barzak scored 12 in a 16-2 run through the first seven minutes of the contest. Bethany’s first field goal didn’t come until the 12:12 mark when junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) hit a three and that got the BC offense going. The Green and White scored 12 of the next 14 points, with Verrico hitting two triples and sophomore Monica Westerheide (right - Zanesville, Ohio/Bishop Rosecrans) putting in the other six, as Bethany cut the deficit to 18-14 by the midway point of the half.
The Tomcats (6-15, 5-9) tried to pull away the rest of the half, twice running their lead out to nine points. Bethany (6-15, 4-10) answered both times, including another Verrico trey and a jumper by senior Carly Garneau (Beavercreek, Ohio/Carroll) late in the half to make it a 32-27 Thiel advantage at the break.
Bethany’s hope for a quick start in the second half were dashed when TC posted the first seven points of the period and used a 13-4 run to extend their lead to 45-31. The Bison were unable to string together enough scores or stops to make a quality run at the home team. Thiel shot 61 percent after halftime and Bethany only moved as close as nine points following the big Tomcat spurt to begin the half. The second time Bethany moved as close as nine came with 42 seconds to play and the Tomcats went 5-for-6 from the foul line after that to cement the victory.
Verrico (right) was the top scorer for the Bison in the game, as she hit three three-pointers and tallied 13 points. Freshman Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio) came off the bench to score 12 and Westerheide also chipped in with 10 markers.
The big start to the game sent Barzak to a huge afternoon for the Tomcats, as she compiled 26 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Complimenting her effort was Kelly Muffley with 13 markers and six boards.
Bethany will be at home for a pair of games next week, starting Wednesday with a visit from Chatham. The Bison won the first meeting between the teams 77-58 on Jan, 9th in Pittsburgh. Tip-off on BC’s home floor is scheduled for 7 p.m.