Sansom earns first-career victory in season-opener, 73-55
Nov. 16 - STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Led by a double-double from junior forward Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier), the Bison picked up a 73-55 win over Franciscan in non-conference play Wednesday night.
The Bethany College women's basketball team improves to 1-0 overall, giving Brian Sansom his first-career win as a head coach. Meanwhile, the Barons drop to 0-2 to start the year.
Daugherty posted a career-high 31 points on 9-of-19 shooting, including 13-of-17 at the charity stripe, and matched her career-best of 16 rebounds (seven offensive) in the win.
Senior guard Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) added 10 points, while junior guard Maclaine Murad (Bridgeport, Ohio/Bridgeport) added nine points to help the team claim the victory. Junior Dakota McKenzie (Hopewell, Ohio/West Muskingum), fresh off helping the volleyball team to the Presidents' Athletic Conference title, tallied eight points off of the bench in nine minutes on the court.
The Bison started off hot from beyond-the-arc. Murad, Holenka and sophomore Ashley Duthie (Madison, Ohio/Madison) each connected on three pointers to help Bethany race out to an 11-4 lead less than three minutes into the game. The Green & White out-scored the Barons 9-to-6 over the final eight minutes to take a 19-10 lead after one period.
Bethany struggled to convert in the second quarter. The Bison were held without a field goal until the 3:43-mark and Franciscan trimmed the lead to four, 26-22, with 2:51 remaining in the first half. The Barons took their first lead of the game, 28-26, on a three pointer with just under two minutes until the break, but a pair of layups by Daugherty and Murad in the final sixty seconds sent Bethany into the half with a 30-28 lead.
Each team traded baskets through the first five minutes, with the Bison clinging to a 36-34 advantage. Bethany took control of the contest with a 10-4 run to close out the third quarter, including a buzzer-beating shot by Duthie to give the Green & White a 46-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Bethany saved its best for last, out-scoring Franciscan 27-17 in the final frame to give Sansom the win in his first-career game as a head coach.
The Bison ended the game shooting 24-of-72 from the field (33 percent) and converted 20-of-27 free throws (74 percent). Bethany held a 53-to-43 edge on the glass and forced 19 turnovers to start the season with a win.
Franciscan was led by Kaitlyn Sonneberger, who registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Sansom and the Bison return to the court on Friday, November 18 when they head to New Concord, Ohio to face Muskingum in a non-conference matchup.