Bearcats roll to PAC road win over Bethany

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BETHANY, W.Va. (Dec. 3) – All five starters scored in double figures as the Saint Vincent women's basketball team remained unbeaten with a 99-71 win over Bethany in Presidents' Athletic Conference play.

With the win the Bearcats improved to 2-0 in the PAC and 5-0 overall. Bethany dropped to 0-1 in the conference and 3-3 overall. The win was the Bearcats 11th straight over Bethany.

Taylor Mathers led the way once again with 20 points and seven rebounds, both team highs on the night. Sophomore Mara Benvenuti and junior Drew Meeker each poured in 16 points, while sophomore guard Hannah Carroll tallied a career-high 12 points and senior guard Ally Schmidt totaled 11 points.

Things started well for SVC once again, scoring the first seven points of the game and moving the advantage to 10-2 on a three-pointer from Carroll at the 15:53 mark of the first half. Saint Vincent pushed the advantage to double digits when Meeker connected on a three-point basket at the 13:17 mark, making it 19-9 SVC. Bethany and SVC traded baskets for the next several minutes until the Bearcats worked their lead 15 points (34-19) when Mathers converted a three point play with 5:31 to play in the half.

Bethany battled back, cutting the lead to Bearcats lead to 12 before seeing SVC push its lead to 18 when Mathers made a layup with 3:21 to play in the first half. The two teams exchanged baskets on the next several possessions. The Bearcats finished the first half scoring with a trey by Meeker, to see the lead swell to its largest at 51-32.

The host Bison came out of the gates strong in the second half, scoring seven of the first nine points to cut the Bearcats lead to 14 points (53-39) at the 17:26 mark. SVC did a nice job of answering and used a 11-to-5 run to push the lead to 20 points after a pair of free throws by Meeker (64-44). SVC continued its strong shooting, pushing the lead to 70-46 when senior guard Jessica Welch hit a three point field goal.

Saint Vincent pushed the lead to as many as 28 points on several occassions in the second half before clearing the bench late in the contest and finishing just below the century mark on the scoreboard.

SVC shot the basketball well again, recording a 51.3 shooting percentage from the field. The Bearcats also made 10 three-point field goals while making 11-of-16 free throws. SVC held a 54-30 scoring advantage in points in the paint. Bethany shot 44.1 percent from the field but committed 24 turnovers in the loss. Bethany was led by freshman Hayley Holenka, who scored a game-high 23 points.

The Bearcats return to action when they host Geneva for another PAC contest Saturday, Dec. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Carey Center.