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BISON WOMEN LOOK TO CONTINUE CLIMB AT WESTMINSTER SATURDAY
BETHANY, W.Va. – Coming off their first PAC win of the year, the Bethany women’s basketball team (5-9, 1-4) will try to continue their climb up the conference standings when they travel to Westminster (6-7, 3-3) Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison bounced back from a slow start in Wednesday’s game against Chatham to record a 60-56 victory. An 18-3 spurt early in the second half allowed Bethany to erase a three-point deficit and they held off a late Cougar charge to claim the win. Senior Renee Brandenburg (Avella, Pa.) notched 11 of her 13 points in the second half, while freshman Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) fired in 12 and senior Kaitlyn McCormick (Wheeling, W.Va./Wheeling Park) finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
The Bison continue to lean on an opportunistic defense, as they forced 30 Chatham turnovers in the win. It’s the fourth time in the last six games BC has harassed their opponent into 30 or more miscues and is why Bethany has risen to first in the PAC in forced turnovers (25.1).
Another improved phase of the Bison game is the play of their bench. Bethany reserves, led by Wilson, outscored Chatham’s 23-5 Wednesday night. In the last half-dozen contests, the BC bench has not scored less than 22 points and is out-producing their foes by an impressive 29.5-8.0 count over that same stretch.
Bethany leads the all-time series with Westminster 11-10, including a pair of triumphs last year. The Bison posted an impressive 83-66 win at home over the Titans, as McCormick registered 17 points, eight rebounds, eight steals and four assists. In the rematch at Westminster, a three-point play by senior Susannah Cartland (Harvard, Ill.) with five seconds to play was the difference in a 53-50 nail-biter.
This year’s Titan team started the year 2-6, but has won four of their last five contests. They ran their winning streak to three straight with a 76-70 overtime victory Wednesday over Thiel. Guard Gina Brunetti drilled a three with 24 seconds left in regulation to force OT. Once in the extra session, Kaitlin McCarthy had two baskets to give Westminster the lead for good and then sank two foul shots in the closing seconds to clinch the win. Amy Dolsak had an impressive double-double with 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Brunetti dropped in 20 and McCarthy chipped in 15 points and eight assists.
Dolsak (13.7), Brunetti (11.6) and McCarthy (11.2) are the big three scorers for the Titans. Dolsak also leads Westminster in rebounding with 9.1 per game to rank fourth in the PAC and McCarthy is second in the league in assists (4.9). Despite the three scorers averaging in double digits, the Titans are ranked seventh in the conference with 58.1 points per game and Wednesday’s game was the first time this season they have gone over 70 points.