Dec. 4 - BETHANY, W.Va. – After suffering defeats Saturday, the Bethany College men’s and women’s basketball teams will be aiming to even their PAC records at 1-1 Wednesday when they travel to Waynesburg (Pa.) University for a doubleheader. The Bison women will open the evening with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off against the Yellow Jackets, with BC’s men scheduled to take the floor at 7:30 p.m.
Game two will see the Bethany men (3-3, 0-1) trying to avoid their first 0-2 start to PAC play since the 2000-01 season. The Green and White dropped their league opener Saturday when Thomas More (Ky.) College shot 64 percent in the second half to come away with an 87-78 triumph. BC senior guard Brody Jackson (Akron, Ohio/Manchester) netted 22 points, while senior guard Marcus Adams (Columbus, Ohio/Mount Vernon Academy) totaled 17.
Adams is off to a great start this year. His point total Saturday was a new career-high, the third time he’s set a new personal best for scoring in a game. In addition to averaging 10.3 markers per game, he also leads the PAC in assists with 6.3 and is third in steals with 3.3. Adams enojyed success against the Yellow Jackets a year ago, as he averaged 8.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in a pair of Bison wins.
Those two wins continued Bethany’s recent control of the series with Waynesburg. Last year’s 102-80 and 80-68 victories ran the Bison’s winning streak over the Yellow Jackets to 10 straight, which have come by an average margin of 18.3 points. The last Waynesburg triumph came back in 2003, a 97-90 decision at Marisa Field House.
This year’s Yellow Jacket team enters Wednesday’s tilt with a 2-2 overall record and 0-1 mark in the PAC following an 86-59 loss at Thiel (Pa.) College Saturday. Waynesburg shot a season-worst 31 percent from the field in their second consecutive loss. Pacing the offense was junior G/F Dan Happe with 19 points, while junior F Jason Clark amassed a career-best 15.
If the Bison want to move to .500 in PAC play, they will need to slow down Waynesburg’s Big Three of Happe, G Tim Drakeley and F Josh Parisi. Together, the trio has accounted for nearly 69 percent of the team’s scoring. Happe, who had 33 in a double-overtime loss at Frostburg State (Md.) University last week, leads the PAC in scoring with 20.8 per game. Not far behind is Drakeley, who is tied with BC’s Jackson for third in the circuit with 19 markers per contest and Parisi is notching 15.3.
Balancing out the Yellow Jackets’ success on offense has been their opposition converting on a regular basis when they have the basketball. Teams are shooting 49.2 percent from the floor against Waynesburg this year, which is next-to-last in the conference, and they are stroking three-pointers at a 43.2 percent clip, placing WU last in the league.
The evening’s first game will be a rematch of a PAC Quarterfinal match-up from last year, which was won by the Bison 65-61. Both teams are vastly different from the two that took the floor last year however. Bethany comes in 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference following a 71-60 setback to #14 Thomas More last weekend. Senior guard Lisa Mitchell (Burgettstown, Pa./Avella) fired in 28 points but the Bison were never able to dig out from a 19-point first half hole.
Saturday’s 28 points was the second-most scored by Mitchell in her career, topped only by a 29-point effort she registered last year in an 83-65 home win over Waynesburg. The 5-8 guard would also be the team’s high scorer in their PAC Tournament victory over WU, as she finished with 16. In three games against the Yellow Jackets a season ago, Mitchell averaged 20 points and shot 48 percent from the arc (12-25).
The all-time series between the schools is led by Bethany 24-15, but the teams have split the last eight match-ups. However, the Bison will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak at Waynesburg, as the last time a BC team won at Marisa Field House was a 67-58 victory in 2004.
For Waynesburg (1-4, 0-1), they won their season opener but have lost four straight by double figures. During their recent struggles, the Yellow Jackets have committed an average of 21.5 turnovers per game and are shooting just 24.6 percent (17-69) from three-point land. Their difficulties from the outside have contributed to them connecting on just 33 percent from the field as a team.
The Yellow Jackets’ most recent defeat came Saturday at Thiel, when the Tomcats scored a 69-57 triumph. Forward Jeanette Wonsettler led the scoring with 15 and is a player to watch tomorrow due to her success against the Bison. She averaged a double-double (13.7 pts., 10.0 rebs.) in three meetings with BC last year, which included a 22-point, 14-board effort in the Bison’s regular season home win.