Bethany Upends W&J 65-57 in PAC Regular-Season Women's Basketball Finale
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Tara Harris recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds to help Bethany hold off Washington & Jefferson 65-58 in PAC women’s basketball action Saturday, Fenruary 19 afternoon at the Henry Memorial Center.
The Bison (13-12, 8-8 PAC) snapped a six-game losing streak to W&J (9-16, 6-10 PAC) as well as a seven-game skid on W&J’s home floor.
BC earns the No. 4 seed for next week’s PAC Tournament and hosts Grove City Tuesday, while sixth-seeded W&J will travel to third-seeded Waynesburg (7:00 pm).
Bethany trailed only twice in the first half and built a 33-25 lead at the break behind 10 points from Harris.
The Bison led 37-27 with 14:25 remaining, but W&J answered with a 25-10 rally to take a 52-47 lead with 5:28 left. Junior point guard Vanessa Rivera (Reading, Pa./Wilson) gave the Presidents their first lead (48-47) in 23 minutes with a basket at the 7:04 mark and classmate Ashley Kirkpatrick (Sharon, Pa./Kennedy Catholic) followed with four consecutive points for the five-point edge.
However, the Bison regrouped and Renee Shepherd’s three-pointer at the 1:09 mark gave BC the lead back 58-56. Bethany made 7-of-8 free throws in the final 45 seconds to clinch the No. 4 seed and quarterfinal round home game.
Harris made 5-of-11 shots (3-of-5 three-pointers) and added three assists. Kayla Taormina (12) and Anne Wilson (11) also scored in double figures for the Bison, who shot 36 percent (20-of-56) and held a 40-32 rebounding advantage.
Kirkpatrick paced the Presidents with 18 points, six rebounds and two steals. Rivera and senior forward Jamie McKitrick (Marietta, Ohio/Marietta) both added 10 points. Rivera dished out nine assists and collected four rebounds and two steals. Her 130 assists this season mark the second-highest total in school history. W&J shot only 35 percent (19-of-54), but made 18-of-19 foul shots.
Waynesburg swept the season series from W&J by scores of 78-65 (Jan. 15) and 77-56 (Feb. 16).