Dec. 7 - ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio – With the game tied at 56 with two minutes to play, the Bethany College women’s basketball team scored four straight points and then held off Ohio-Eastern for a 60-59 victory Tuesday night in a non-conference match-up.
In the opening period, nine different Bison (4-4) hit the scorebook and they scored 20 points in the paint to build a 31-19 lead. Junior Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and freshman Rachel Benda (Bridgeport, Ohio) tallied six each for BC, who shot 46 percent (13-28) before halftime. Bethany held the Panthers to 19 percent shooting (5-26), but OUE converted 9-of-10 from the foul line to stay in the game.
Bethany’s lead was still 12 at 51-39 when sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) drilled a three with 7:33 to play. The Panthers responded with 12 consecutive points to tie the game at 51 with a trey by Amber Skvarka at the 4:28 to play. The Bison went back in front on their next possession with a conventional three-point play from senior Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio), but a few possessions later, another Skvarka triple knotted the score at 56.
Each team had a possession to try to take the lead, but both missed shots. The Bison then regained the advantage with 1:05 left when junior Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) hit a lay-up. Following a Harris steal and a foul, junior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Jefferson Hills) sank two foul shots for a 60-56 lead with 40 seconds to play. After OUE’s Savannah Burke hit another three to make it a one-point game, Bethany had a chance to add to their lead, but missed two front ends of one-and-one. The second chance was with eight seconds left, but after grabbing the rebound, the Panthers were unable to get a shot off because of BC’s defense and Bethany was able to come away with the win.
Shepherd led the Bethany offense with 11 points and also passed out four assists, while Taormina finished with nine points and Hackathorn totaled six markers and a dozen boards. For Ohio-Eastern, Allie Doan scored 16 of her 22 in the second half and Burke tallied 14.
The Bison will be on the road again Saturday when they travel to Geneva for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off in Beaver Falls, Pa.