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Late Basket Caps Bison Rally in 52-50 Win over Grove City

Jan. 26 -BETHANY, W.Va. – Trailing by as many as 11 in the second half, the Bethany College women’s basketball team rallied back and used a bucket by freshman Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio) with 23 seconds to play to break a tie and pull out a 52-50 victory over visiting Grove City Saturday afternoon.

The Bison snapped a four-game losing skid with the win and improved to 6-13 and 4-8 in the conference, while the Wolverines dipped to 6-10 and 5-7.

7703Nuzum12.jpg Bethany freshman Brianna Nuzum (right - Morgantown, W.Va.) started her big game with the opening hoop of the contest, but Grove City tallied the next six points and led throughout a sloppy first half. The Bison, who shot 31 percent (8-26) and committed 14 turnovers in the first half, trailed by as many as 11, but late scores by junior Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) and Tipton cut the Wolverine advantage down to 26-19 at the break. Grove City didn’t shoot much better than Bethany (33 percent) but did score 15 points off those BC miscues.

The second half didn’t have a much better start, as Grove City notched the first two scores of the period to take their lead back to 11. The Green and White began chipping away immediately after that, but they made their move around the midway point of the half. Trailing 38-31, two scores by senior Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) and a three-pointer by junior Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) completed a 9-1 push that gave Bethany its first lead of the game since the opening minute at 40-39.

The final seven minutes of the contest was a see-saw affair with four ties and five lead changes. A Brandy Nickoloff foul shot for Grove City with 1:44 to play evened the score at 48, but the ensuing trip down, Nuzum finished off a strong post move to put Bethany back in front 50-48. Following a timeout, Grove City’s Kelsey Shirey used a screen to get to the rim for a score to tie the game again.  After a BC offensive rebound, Tipton drove from the left wing through traffic in the lane and put one up and in for the go-ahead bucket with 23 ticks on the clock.

On their possession, Grove City went back to Shirey, who missed a contested lay-up and Bethany grabbed the rebound and was fouled. With five seconds left, Bethany missed the front end of the one-and-one, but after a scramble for the rebound, Grove City finally pulled it down but couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer and the Bison escaped with the victory, which broke a three-game losing streak on their home floor.

3388Tipton12.jpg After the cold first half, Bethany recovered to known down 54 percent of its shots (15-28) after intermission. The winning basket from Tipton (right) gave her 14 points for the game, with 10 of those coming in the second half. Nuzum was strong in the post all day, as she matched her career-high with 14 points, corralled a game-high nine rebounds and rejected four shots. After a scoreless first half, Verrico flipped in 10 markers for her 11th straight game in double digits.

The lone Wolverine to finish in double figures was Gibson with a game-high 16, but Bethany limited her to just four in the second half.

The Bison will try to build off this win Wednesday night when they host Westminster in a rematch of a Jan. 2nd game won by the Titans. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m