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Nov. 20 - CINCINNATI, Ohio – After rallying from a 13-point second half deficit, the Bethany women’s basketball team had a shot to win Friday’s game against Mount St. Joseph at the buzzer, but the Lions blocked the attempt to hold on for a 68-67 victory over the Bison.

The game was the second of this weekend’s Mount St. Joseph Tip-Off Tournament. The Bison (0-2) drop into Saturday’s consolation game against Alma (Mich.) College at 1 p.m. The Lions (2-0) advance to the title game against the University of Cumberlands (Ky.), who routed Alma 74-35 in the first game of the day.

A pair of hoops early by Bethany sophomore Audra Droginske (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Central) sparked the Bison to a 9-4 run to open the game. That was answered by 11 straight points by MSJ as part of a 15-2 surge that gave the home team a 20-11 cushion. BC would slowly chip away at that margin the rest of the half and managed to tie the score at 30 on a foul shot by freshman Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) with 45 seconds left in the half, but a jumper by the Lions’ Tricia Siemer gave them a 32-30 lead at the break.

Mount St. Joseph grabbed the momentum in the second half by scoring 18 of the period’s first 25 points. Two scores by Katie Jo Collins ignited the push, Chelsea Drake scored five points in the middle and it was capped by consecutive hoops from Siemer that swelled the Lions’ lead to a game-high 13 at 50-37 with 11:31 to go. But just as they did in the opening stanza, Bethany would gradually pull back into the game, as they outscored MSJ 19-6 over the next five minutes and with a three-pointer by Droginske with 6:21 left, they had drawn even at 56-56.

After two foul shots by the Lions, sophomore Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) scored a lay-up, which was followed by two foul shots from sophomore Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa. Cambridge Springs) to give BC their first lead since early in the first half. Another free throw by Hackathorn pushed the margin to three, but a pair of three-point plays by MSJ turned the tide. One came with 3:30 left to put the home team ahead 63-62. The teams exchanged scores and then the Lions’ Kat O’Neill was fouled while making a lay-up and her free throw extended the Bethany deficit to 68-64 with two minutes to play.

The Bison would battle back one more time. A free throw by sophomore Renee Shepherd (New Martinsville, W.Va./Magnolia) and lay-up by Droginske with a minute left made it a 68-67 MSJ lead. The Lions had possession with the clock ticking down, but Wilson made a steal with 12 seconds to play. Following a timeout, Bethany’s last chance was in the hands of freshman Carly Garneau (Beaver Creek, Ohio/Carroll), but her jumper at the buzzer was denied by MSJ’s Chelsea Doellman and the Lions barely escaped with the one-point win.

Bethany finished the evening with four scorers in double figures, led by Taormina with 17 markers. Wilson chipped in with 13, Droginske added 11 points and six assists and Garneau came off the bench to fire in 10 for the Bison, who out-rebounded the Lions 35-26 in the setback.

For Mount St. Joseph, Collins dropped in 16 and O’Neill tallied 10 points and seven assists.