BISON RALLY TO BEAT WAYNESBURG IN OT, MOVE INTO PAC SEMIFINALS
Feb. 24 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) scored 16 of her game-high 21 points after halftime to help the Bethany women’s basketball team come back from a 12-point halftime deficit and pull out a 68-63 win in overtime over visiting Waynesburg in the PAC Tournament Quarterfinals Tuesday night.
The come-from-behind victory improved BC’s record to 15-11 overall and moved them into the tournament semifinals Friday night. The Yellow Jackets saw their season end with an 8-18 record.
The Bison flew out of the gates Tuesday, as they scored the first seven points of the game and still led 16-9 with six minutes gone. After Waynesburg bounced back with a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead, BC answered with nine of the next 11 markers to move in front 25-20. The final run of the half belonged to the Yellow Jackets, who outscored Bethany 19-2 over the final six minutes of the period to carry a 39-27 lead into the locker room.
Waynesburg shot 53 percent (17-32) from the floor, including 45 percent (5-11) from the three-point line in the opening stanza, while the Bison made just 37 percent (11-30) in the first half.
Bethany managed to trim the WU lead to seven, then fired in eight straight, including four from sophomore guard Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami), to retake a 49-48 advantage with 12 minutes to play. Waynesburg came back with four straight points and there would be four ties and four more lead changes heading down the stretch. The Bison took the lead on a pair of Kelly Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) free throws with 2:32 to go, then swelled their cushion to 61-57 on two foul shots from senior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) at the 1:44 mark.
However, the Yellow Jackets would push the game to OT when Elisha Jones cashed in two from the charity stripe with 1:18 on the clock and then tied the game with a lay-up with 38 ticks remaining. Both teams had chances for the win, but a Bison turnover with five seconds left turned the ball back over to Waynesburg, who couldn’t get past half court before time expired, sending the game to overtime.
The Green and White took the lead for good on a Brandenburg foul shot one minute into the extra session. The senior center came back on the next possession to score inside while getting fouled and she finished the three-point play to give Bethany a 65-61 lead with 3:24 to go. Neither team managed to score again until 34 seconds were left when Bison sophomore Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) sank two foul shots. She would add another with 13 seconds left to clinch the win and send BC to the conference semifinals for the second time in the last three years.
For the Bison, Brandenburg was 8-for-9 from the field and 7-for-9 from the foul line to lead all scorers with 21 and she also hauled down a team-best eight rebounds. McCormick totaled 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Stacy Goode and freshman Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) tossed in 10 each.
The valiant Waynesburg effort was led by Callie White and Jones with 18 points each.
Bethany will take the floor for the PAC semifinals Friday night at 6 p.m. against the #2 seed Washington & Jefferson, who knocked off Westminster 70-57 Tuesday. The game will be played at Thomas More, who is the top seed and host for the PAC Final Four. The Saints will take on #5 Thiel, who upset #4 Grove City 65-51 in the quarterfinals. The semifinal winners will move on to Saturday’s championship game at 2 p.m.