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BISON WOMEN LOOK TO STAY UNBEATEN IN PAC PLAY AT CHATHAM
Dec. 6 - BETHANY. W.Va. – Off to its first 2-0 start in conference play in five years, the Bethany College women’s basketball team will try to keep its unbeaten start going when it travels to Chatham Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The Bison won their third game in a row and evened their overall record at 3-3 with a 61-35 triumph over Geneva Saturday. The BC defense forced 25 turnovers and held the Golden Tornadoes to 27 percent shooting, while the Bison bench outscored Geneva’s 31-2. The top two scorers for the Green and White came off the bench in sophomore Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley), who fired in a career-high 13, and senior Kelly Zogran (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson), who notched 10.
Bethany used the Geneva miscues to generate 29 points in Saturday’s win and the turnover battle is a big reason BC has flipped a 0-3 start to three straight victories. After averaging 23 turnovers in the opening three losses, the Bison are committing an average of just 16 in the three wins. The defense has turned up the pressure as well, harassing teams into an average of 24 turnovers during this three-game winning streak.
The offensive attack of the Bison is one of the more balanced in the PAC to date. Five different players have led the team in scoring in their six games and only once so far has fewer than nine players recorded at least one point in a game for Bethany. Junior guard Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) is the only Bison in double figures with 10.7 per game, but seven other players are averaging five or more per contest.
That balance was on display last year when Bethany swept both games from Chatham, which gave BC a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series. In the Green and White’s 58-50 victory at Chatham, nine players hit the scorebook, but none tallied double digits. In the rematch at BC, 10 different players had points, paced by senior center Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) with 19.
The Cougars are 2-4 so far, but dropped their opening two PAC games by an average of 31.5 points. On Saturday, Chatham was within striking distance of Saint Vincent at halftime, but cold shooting (24.5 percent) and turnovers (32) plagued the Cougars in a 62-37 setback. Guard Lizz King scored a team-best 12 and Becky Rowe came off the bench for nine points.
Chatham ‘s defense has been a strength so far this year, as they limit teams to 34.4 percent shooting from the field, second-best in the league. On the offensive end, freshman forward Andie Gaetano is posting a team-leading 9.7 points per game and hauling in 5.7 boards. King is the team’s top three-point threat with 13 treys and 9.2 points per game and Marguerite Sargent is averaging 8.7 points and team-highs of 3.0 assists and 2.8 steals a game.