Jan. 3 - GREENVILLE, Pa. – A three-pointer by Kelly Muffley with six seconds to play capped Thiel’s 9-0 game-ending run and gave the Tomcats a 71-70 victory over the Bethany College women’s basketball team Monday night.
The Bison (6-5, 1-2) led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Thiel (2-9, 1-2) scored the final 10 points of the opening period to trim the BC lead to 36-34 at the break. The second half went back and forth, although Bethany led for nearly all of it. Thiel did grab the lead momentarily when a Muffley lay-up punctuated a 12-4 spurt to put the home team in front 53-52 with nine minutes to play.
On their ensuing possession, BC sophomore Kayla Taormina (Center Twp., Pa./Quigley) knocked down a three to put the Green and White back in front. She hit another trey and a conventional three-point play from Katelynn Hackathorn (Valley Grove, W.Va./Wheeling Park) put the Bison on top by a 61-53 lead with 7:44 left.
The Tomcats sliced the margin to three, but lay-ups by junior Anne Wilson (Saegertown, Pa./Cambridge Springs) and Taormina extended the lead back to 70-62. The rest of the scoring would be done by the Tomcats, as a pair of buckets trimmed the lead to 70-66 with a minute to go. Bethany, who made 11 of their first 12 free throws, had a chance to clinch the win, but went cold from the line. They missed the front end of three one-and-ones, which allowed Thiel to score the final five points of the game. Muffley’s trey gave TC just their third lead of the game and Bethany’s final chance was a three by Wilson with a second to go, but it was off the mark and Thiel escaped with the win.
The Bison offense was sparked by a trio of double-digit scorers. Taormina scored 18 and grabbed a team-best nine rebounds, while Hackathorn also dropped in 18 off 7-for-8 shooting from the field. Wilson posted 17 markers and added seven boards, four assists and four steals.
For Thiel, Jasmin Jones had a game-high 24 points, while Muffley’s late shot gave her 14. That matched Ashley Davis’ point total and she also hauled down 14 boards.
Bethany will return home for their next game when they host Grove City Thursday night at 6 p.m.