BISON RALLY TO BEAT WESTMINSTER FOR 7TH STRAIGHT WIN
Feb. 18 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Sophomore Tara Harris (Zanesville, Ohio) scored 14 second half points and senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) fired in 12 after halftime to help the Bethany women’s basketball team rally from a four-point halftime deficit and claim an 82-74 victory over Westminster Wednesday.
The triumph was the seventh in a row for the Bison, who are now 14-10 overall and 8-5 in the PAC. The Titans dropped to 7-16 and 4-10.
Westminster came in looking for the upset from the start, as they bolted to a 26-12 lead with eight minutes left in the half. A triple from senior Caelyn DiSanti (Tarentum, Pa./North Catholic) and three-point play by Brandenburg sparked a run of 10 straight points by BC to trim the deficit to 26-22. After the Titans pushed their margin back to 10, Bethany scored nine of the half’s final 13 points to go in at the break down by just a 39-35 count.
A jumper and then a three from Westminster’s Gina Brunetti extended the Titan lead back to 51-42 early in the second half. That’s when Harris stepped up for the Green and White. She cashed in a trey to ignite a 14-2 spurt, with much of the damage coming from her. Following the three, DiSanti scored on a lay-up, which was followed by back-to-back hoops from Harris to even the score at 51. After a Brunetti bucket put the visitors back in front. Harris followed with a trifecta to give Bethany the lead and the run was capped on a Stacy Goode (Pleasant Plain, Ohio/Little Miami) lay-up for a 56-53 BC advantage.
Bethany’s lead would grow to 67-59, but Westminster posted their own rally and evened the score at 71 with 2:20 to go on a lay-up by Emily Dolsak. On the next possession, Goode hoisted a three from the right wing that splashed through to put the Bison in front for good. After a stop on the defensive end, Brandenburg scored inside with 55 ticks remaining for a 76-71 BC lead. From there, Bethany just took care of business from the foul line, as Harris, freshman Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) and Goode each knocked down a pair from the stripe to seal the Bison’s fourth straight win over Westminster.
For the game, the Titans shot 51 percent from the floor, compared to 48 percent from Bethany. However, BC’s bench outscored Westminster’s 45-4 and 22 Titan turnovers were converted into 26 Bethany points on the other end.
Brandenburg’s big second half gave her 20 points to lead all scorers. Harris went 7-for-8 from the floor, including 2-for-3 from deep, to tally 18 markers and she added a team-best eight rebounds. Goode recorded strong all-around numbers with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Wilson aided off the bench with nine points, five assists and four steals.
For Westminster, Amy and Emily Dolsak each went for 18 points, while Kaitlin McCarthy and Brunetti scored 14 apiece.
The Bison have clinched the third seed for next week’s PAC Tournament and also know they will be playing sixth-seeded Waynesburg on Tuesday at home in the Quarterfinals. However, Bethany has to close out the regular season Saturday afternoon with a road trip to #21 Washington & Jefferson for a 2 p.m. tip-off. Although the Presidents are also locked in as the #2 seed for the conference playoffs, the game still carries some meaning, as it’s the first time the teams have locked horns since Bethany upset W&J 66-61 back on Jan. 21.