Andrew Woodley, Sports Information Director
BETHANY, W.Va. (Jan. 7) – Led by double-doubles from junior forwards Kelsi Settle (Sebring, Ohio/Sebring) and Kelsea Daugherty (Newport, Ohio/Frontier), the Bison held on for a 70-67 win over Thiel in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action Saturday afternoon.
The Bethany College women's basketball team improves to 6-7 overall, 4-2 in the PAC. Meanwhile, the Tomcats drop to 1-5 in league play, 4-8 this season.
Daugherty recorded a team-high 25 points and 13 rebounds (six offensive), while Settle registered her first-career double-double with 10 points and a career-best 15 rebounds (eight offensive) to help the Bison earn their third-straight win. Senior guard Hayley Holenka (Shadyside, Ohio/Shadyside) paced Daugherty from the field with 16 points and added six boards to her final line.
Thiel opened the contest with an 11-4 lead with the help of a trio of three pointers in the opening minutes of the game. The Tomcats maintained the advantage throughout the first quarter, taking a 22-12 lead into the first intermission. Thiel shot 64 percent (9-for-14) during the period.
The Tomcats led 27-16 with 8:44 left in the first half when Bethany rallied back. The Bison went on a 22-9 run to close out the first and take a 38-37 advantage into halftime.
Bethany could not shake loose from the Tomcats in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The game was tied at 43-43 with 5:37 left in the third quarter, before the Bison opened up an 11-3 run to take a 54-46 lead with a minute left in the period. A free throw and layup by Thiel trimmed the Bethany lead to five, 54-49, heading into the final quarter.
A Holenka layup at the 7:55 mark of the fourth quarter gave the Bison their biggest lead of the game, 62-49, but the Tomcats used a quick 11-2 spurt to pull back within four, 64-60, with five minutes left in the game.
Bethany led 68-64 with just over a minute remaining in the game. After a layup by Settle pushed the lead to six, 70-64 with 57 seconds left in regulation, Thiel connected on a three pointer to make it a one-possession game. Thiel had one final opportunity near the horn, but came up short, earning the Bison the win.
The Bison controlled the glass in the game. Bethany out-rebounded Thiel 51-to-29 and held a staggering 23-to-5 advantage in offensive rebounds. The offensive boards helped the Bison out-score the Tomcats 27-to-7 in second-chance points.
Thiel cooled off after a hot start to the game. The Tomcats shot 50 percent (14-for-28) in the first half, before posting 32 percent (8-for-25) from the field in the second half.
Daugherty's 25 points leaves her just five shy of 1,000 career points at Bethany. She would become the 17th Bison to achive the milestone.
The Bison will hit the road next week for a pair of road games, starting on Wednesday January, 11 when they cross the Pennsylvania border to take on Washington & Jefferson at 6 p.m.