Dec. 7 – BETHANY, W. Va. – The Bethany College women’s basketball team (2-3, 1-1 PAC) used stout defense and a career-high from sophomore Gabrielle Naples (Salem, Ohio/South Range) to defeat the Wolverines of Grove City College 56-46 on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah) got the Bison on track early in the game, hitting all four of her shots to open the contest and give Bethany an early lead (8-3) with 17:06 remaining in the first half.
Bethany would continue to push the ball and make good decisions in the first half of play, eventually running their first half lead out to 16 points (34-18) on free throws by R.E.L. Neal (Detroit, Mich./Melvindale) with 4:35 remaining in the half. The Bison would finish the first-half of play with a 13-point cushion (37-24).
In the opening frame, the Bison applied the pressure to Grove City, forcing the Wolverines into 15 turnovers, while allowing just nine made field goals. Reversely, the Bison totaled 10 assists in the first half, led by six from senior Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson). Bethany also shot 45 percent (14-31) from the field in the frame and converted on 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
In the second half of play, the points were hard to come by, as the two teams combined for just 41 points in the frame. The Wolverines would slowly chip away at the Bison lead and eventually get the advantage back to single digits (41-32) with 12:15 to go in the game.
With Bethany up nine (43-34) with 10:05 to play, a small, seven-point run for the Bison put the game out of reach. Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville) extended the lead back to double digits (46-34) and baskets by Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) and Schott had the Bison up 50-36 with five minutes remaining in the contest. Grove City would make one final push and cut the lead to eight points (54-46) with just under a minute to play, but could get no closer, as the Bison went on for the 10-point victory (56-46).
Offensively, Bethany was lead by Naples’ career day. The sophomore forward notched double figures for the second time this season, finishing the day with a career-high 18 points. Schott played an efficient game as well, shooting 6-of-10 from the field to finish with 12 points. Tipton also finished in double figures with 11, while Verrico added seven. Despite not scoring a basket, Williams contributed in a big way, notching eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals over the course of the contest.
As a team, the Bethany defense was solid, holding Grove City to just 30 percent shooting from the field and forcing the Wolverines into 26 turnovers over the course of the game.
Bethany will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 10, as they travel to Hiram College. The non-conference contest with the Terriers is scheduled for a 6 p.m. tip.