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Bison Show Grit In Loss To W&J

Feb. 22 –BETHANY, W.Va. – Despite receiving all-around efforts from seniors Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) and Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson), the Bethany College women’s basketball squad suffered a 75-64 defeat to visiting Washington & Jefferson on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors raced out of the gate, jumping out to an 11-point lead (14-3) with 16:27 to go in the first half. The run was capped off with a basket by Chelsea Apke.

Bethany would then respond, outscoring the Presidents 14-9 over the next six minutes to trim the deficit to just six points (23-17).

The run was led by Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) and Shelva Burns (Weirton, W.Va./Weir), who scored four points each over the span.

W&J would counter, however, outscoring Bethany 17-11 over the last nine minutes of the frame, to enter intermission with a 13-point advantage (40-27).  

The second stanza appeared to be all but wrapped up for the Presidents, as they rode their lead to 20 points (65-45) at the 9:43 mark.

The Bison would not go away, however, showing their mettle over the next three minutes, embarking on a 14-2 run, to cut the Presidents’ lead to just eight points (67-59).

The run was highlighted by Verrico, Naples and Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity). Verrico and Simpson both scored five points apiece, while Naples registered four points and three boards.

The nine-point differential would prove to be as close as the Bison would get, ultimately falling to Washington & Jefferson, 75-64.

The Bison were led by Verrico and Williams, who both appeared in their final regular season game as a member of the program. Verrico finished the night with 19 points, to go along with 12 rebounds and two assists. Williams was able to score six points, while adding six assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Others that played well were Naples and Simpson. Naples notched 11 points and four boards, while Simpson registered eight points and three assists.

After wrapping up regular season play, the Bison earned a No. 6 seed in the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. The squad will travel to Washington, Pa., to take on the Presidents, who earned the No. 3 seed with the win today. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip.