Dec. 14 – BEAVER FALLS, Pa. - The Bethany College women’s basketball team came away with a 68-62 victory over Presidents’ Athletic Conference foe Geneva College on Saturday. With the victory, the Bison improve to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in PAC play.
The Bison opened the contest with a 5-0 run, highlighted by a three-point bucket by senior guard Taylor Verrico (Monaca, Pa./Quigley) and a two-point field goal by sophomore forward Sami Schott (Caldwell, Ohio/Shenandoah).
Geneva would then take a 10-8 lead on a three-point bucket by Marissa Heany at the 12:48 mark. The Golden Tornados wouldn’t relinquish the lead and would hold a 37-29 advantage going into the half.
Geneva controlled the paint outscoring Bethany 22-12 in the first half, as well as scoring 12 points off of Bison turnovers.
The second half saw the Geneva lead stretch to as many as ten points (41-31) after a bucket by Heidi Mann at the 18:40 mark. The Bison weren’t done however, as they embarked on a 16-5 run, capped off by a basket from Lauren Simpson (Washington, Pa./Trinity), which allowed Bethany to reclaim a 47-46 advantage with 12:04 remaining.
With 2:19 to play and the score deadlocked at 57, Alexis Naples’ (Salem, Ohio./South Range) free throw would give the Bison a 58-57 lead they would never again yield.
Simpson would stretch the lead to 60-57 with 1:38 to play, after knocking down a pair from the charity stripe.
Geneva responded with a layup from Heidi Mann, cutting the score to 60-59. However, Verrico quickly countered with a layup of her own pushing the lead to 62-59 with under a minute left.
After Geneva came up empty on their next possession, Verrico stepped to the line and calmly drained two free throws to seal Bethany’s first road victory of the season (68-62).
Verrico led the Bison charge, notching her third double-double of the season (16 points/11 rebounds). Schott chipped in nine points and nine boards as the Bison outrebounded the Golden Tornadoes, 47-39.
Others aiding the offensive attack were Simpson and Mikyla Tipton (Wellsville, Ohio/Wellsville). Simpson was the only other Bison in double figures, notching 11 points, while Tipton tallied nine points in the contest.
The Bison controlled the game on the defensive end, allowing the Golden Tornadoes to shoot just 36 percent from the field while forcing 17 Geneva turnovers. The team came away with 11 steals, led by three a piece from Schott, Skylar Williams (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) and Naples.
Bethany will be back in action Sunday, Dec. 29, when they travel to Delaware, Ohio to compete in the Ohio Wesleyan Tournament. The Bison will open the tournament against the host Battling Bishops at 6 p.m.