Nov. 20 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Behind a balanced offense that featured nine different players scoring and a stifling defense that held Mount Union (Ohio) College to 31 percent shooting, the Bethany College women’s basketball team pulled out a 57-54 victory over the Raiders (1-2) Tuesday night to improve to 2-1 this season.
There were six ties and eight lead changes in the first half and the largest lead held by either team was six points. That was Bethany’s advantage on two occasions, once early in the half at 13-7 when freshman Samantha Bower (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw) drained a three and again at 24-18 with 4:41 to go before halftime on a bucket by junior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park). Mount Union answered on both occasions to tie the game but BC managed to forge a 30-27 lead going into the break.
Six consecutive points from senior guard Lisa Mitchell (Burgettstown, Pa./Avella) early in the second half helped Bethany run out to their largest lead of the game at 38-29. However, the Bison were never able to push their lead into double digits and the Raiders were able to claw their way back. Three times they sliced the Bison lead to a basket, but BC junior forward Susannah Cartland (Harvard, Ill.) scored to answer the first two occasions. The final time saw Mitchell hit a free throw and freshman Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) buried a jumper to extend the lead to 55-50 and allowed the Green and White to survive a rough stretch at the foul line in the final seconds.
Junior guard Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum Pa./North Catholic) canned a pair of foul shots with 30 seconds remaining to give Bethany a 57-52 lead, but the Bison missed their last four attempts from the charity stripe. The final two misfires came with three seconds left and gave the Raiders one last desperation shot to tie the game but it was well short and Bethany escaped with the win.
The BC attack was spearheaded by Mitchell, who was 4-for-8 from the field and 7-for-9 from the foul line to finish with a team-high 15. Cartland’s big baskets late helped her tally 12 and she also pulled in six rebounds to finish tied with Bower and junior forward Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) for tops on the team. DiSanti totaled eight points and gave out four assists as well.
For Mount Union, who connected on just 19-of-61 shots from the field, forward Alicia Williams registered 22 markers and nine boards. Also hitting for double figures was Haley Drayer with 16.
Bethany will return to action this weekend when they play at the Wilmington (Ohio) College Tournament. The Bison will take on the host Quakers, who were receiving votes in the D3Hoops.com preseason Top 25 poll, at 6 p.m. in Saturday's first round. The other first round game will feature Penn State Behrend, who the Bison knocked off 70-67 last Friday in double OT, playing Manchester (Mich.) College, who went to the NCAA Tournament a season ago.