Lady Wolverines slip in PAC finals, 60-55
BETHANY, WV, February 23, 2002--The top-seeded Bethany Bison secured their fourth consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday afternoon, defeating second-seeded Grove City, 60-55, in the tournament championship at Hummel Field House in Bethany, WV.
The Lady Wolverines, who were seeking their first PAC crown since 1986-87, settled for their fourth second-place finish in the last six years.
Bethany (21-6), who led by six points at intermission, never trailed in the second half, building its lead to as many as 12 points (43-31) at the 15-minute mark. Grove City (14-12) recovered with a 21-9 run to tie the game at 52-all with 4:53 left, but went on to make just 1 of 6 floor shots down the stretch.
The Lady Wolverines scored the first seven points of the game and led by eight through the first seven minutes (16-8), but a 19-4 Bison rally sent the hosts into halftime leading 35-29.
Juniors Jessica Jenkins (Conneautville, PA/Cambridge Springs) and Christy Faller (Ijamsville, MD/Urbana) tossed in a team-high 11 points each for Grove City. Jenkins added 11 rebounds to post her second double-double of the season. Sophomore Leigh LeGare (Copperas Cove, TX/Copperas Cove) chipped in nine points.
Bethany put three players in double figures led by Kelley Richardson's game-high17 points. Katie Hardie helped the cause with 16 points and a game-best 14 boards.
The Bison won despite shooting just 33 percent (19-for-57) from the field. They were solid from the free-throw line, however, making 18 of 23 attempts.
Grove City, who relied on the three-point shot to win Friday's semifinal, made just 4 of 20 from outside the arc. The Lady Wolverines shot 40 percent from the floor (22-for-55) and toed the charity stripe just eight times, sinking seven.
Grove City canned eight three-pointers in yesterday's thrilling 65-62 overtime victory over Washington & Jefferson to make its first PAC tournament finals appearance. This is the third straight year that the PAC has crowned its champion at a conference tournament. The Lady Wolverines placed third last season, after finishing fourth in 1999-2000.
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