A valiant effort by the Lady Pilots to knock off the 2017 Crossroads League Regular-Season Champions and fourth-ranked team in the country fell just short as Marian escaped Gates Gymnasium with a 67-63 win over BC. The loss moves Bethel to 10-19 on the season with a 7-10 league record while the Knights of MU improve to 26-3 overall and 16-1 in Crossroads League play.
The favored Knights tried to make quick work of BC by opening up a 12-point lead in the second period at the 6:55 mark. The Lady Pilots narrowed the gap to eight by the break but still had work to do to stay close to the defending national champions.
The Lady Pilots opened the second half with a timely 6-2 run that cut the deficit back to four points, and the hosts were back within striking distance just minutes into the period. Out of a timeout at the 3:31 mark of the third period, the Lady Pilots picked up back-to-back buckets from Macie Hinen and Madison Schrock that shrunk the gap to a single possession. After a stop, BC had their first opportunity to tie or take the lead, but MU's Kellie Kirkhoff created an open-court turnover the led to a layup to stop the BC run.
In the fourth quarter, BC again trimmed the lead to two on a made triple by Lauren Grewe. This was followed by a defensive stand, which gave the Lady Pilots yet another go-ahead opportunity. But another turnover did not allow Bethel make a move, and quickly MU was back to work expanding their lead to five.
Throughout the final 10 minutes, the Lady Pilots never let the Knights off the hook by never trailing by more than five but also never finding the key basket to take control of the scoreboard. In the final 20 seconds, MU's Jessica Almeida iced the game for the Knights by knocking down four-of-four from the stripe, keeping BC at bay.
Kamala Glenn had another career day for BC by pouring in a team-high 20 points while also handing out five assists. Savannah Bley also had a big outing for BC by contributing 19 points and 11 rebounds, which goes in the books as her 14th double double of the campaign. As a team, the Lady Pilots finished shooting 49.1 percent from the floor to Marian's 46.3 percent and connected on 40 percent of their tries from behind the three-point line.
With just one game remaining in the regular season, Bethel's postseason story has yet to be written. Currently, BC sits in a three-way tie for sixth place alongside Taylor and Goshen. With just one game of separation between many teams all along the standings, Saturday's results can drastically alter what the final eight-team tournament bracket will look like.
BC's final test of the season will be a road contest against Saint Francis on Saturday. The Lady Pilots and Cougars will tip off at 1:00 p.m.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook, Twitter (@Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).
|Marian (Ind.) 26-3 (16-1)||19||18||11||19||67|
|Bethel College 10-19 (7-10)||13||16||16||18||63|
|Feb. 15, 2017|
|Marian (Ind.)||Indv. Leaders||Bethel College|
|#12 Kellie Kirkhoff - 23||Points||#12 Kamala Glenn - 20|
|2 Players (#24,#25) - 8||Rebounds||#34 Savannah Bley - 11|
|#11 Joana Soeiro - 4||Assists||#32 Macie Hinen - 6|
|Marian (Ind.)||Team Statistics||Bethel College|
|46.3% (25 - 54)||Field Goals %||49.1% (27 - 55)|
|27.3% (6 - 22)||3 Point Field Goals %||40% (4 - 10)|
|64.7% (11 - 17)||Free Throws||71.4% (5 - 7)|
|3||2nd Chance Pts||6|