Jan. 15 – Bethany, W.Va. – The Bethany women’s basketball team (4-10, 3-4 PAC) grinded out a hard-fought victory (70-56) over conference foe Chatham Wednesday night.
The visitors started out of the gates fast, running out to a six-point lead (6-0) after a driving layup was made by Becky Rowe at the 18:18 mark.
The Bison responded quickly however, as they went on a 14-8 run over the next six minutes to knot the game at 14 with 12:31 to play before halftime. The run was capped off when Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) converted on a pair of free throws.
Bethany would sustain that momentum, outscoring the Cougars 22-8 over the next 12 minutes, to cruise into intermission with a 14-point lead (36-22).
The Bison defense was relentless in the first frame, forcing the Cougars into 13 turnovers, while allowing them to shoot just 33 percent from the field (eight-of-24).
Trailing by 14 points (43-29) with 12:38 to play in the game, Chatham would go on an 11-2 run, cutting the Bison lead to just five points (45-40) after Rachel McClain converted on a pair of free throws.
The Bison would not fold however; as they countered with an 11-2 run to push the lead back out to 14 points (56-42) after Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity) nailed a pair of free throws with 6:19 remaining in regulation.
Bethany was then able to control both ends of the court for the last six minutes and cruise to the finish line, winning by a score of 70-56.
The Bison dominated the paint, outrebounding the Cougars 41-30, including 10 offensive rebounds. A large part of that was thanks to Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah), who recorded a career-high 15 boards in the contest.
The Bison offense was also impressive, as they had four players post double figures in the scoring column. Simpson led the way with 16 points, while Verrico registered 14 points and was effective on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds. Others joining the fray were Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range), who scored 13 points, and Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) with 10 points.
The Bison will be back on the hardwood on Jan. 18, when they travel to Washington, Pa., for a Presidents’ Athletic Conference bout with Washington & Jefferson College. Tipoff is slated for 2:00 p.m.