February 26, 2008

Grove City shocks Bethany, 71-68

BETHANY, W. Va. -- The Grove City College women's basketball team outscored Bethany 9-0 over the final one minute and 14 seconds Tuesday night to shock the host third-seeded Bison, 71-68, in a Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament quarterfinal game at Hummel Field House. Grove City (11-15), the No. 6 seed, will face top-seeded Thomas More in Friday night's semifinals.

Freshman forward Christine Slater (Aliquippa, Pa./Center) put Grove City ahead 69-68 with 20 seconds left with her 10th field goal of the night -- a layup that capped the Wolverines' biggest comeback of the season. Grove City trailed 58-44 with less than 11 minutes left before charging back for the win.

Slater finished the night 10 of 12 from the field and led all scorers with 24 points. She also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. In addition to Slater, four other Grove City players scored in double figures. Sophomore forward Krista Beechy (Winesburg, Ohio/Berlin Hiland) tossed in 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds while sophomore Laura Miller (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) added a dozen points.

Senior forward Brittany Anderson (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) posted a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double and also tied a single-game school record with seven blocked shots. Junior guard Raeann Szelong (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) also contributed 10 points.

Grove City trailed 68-62 with 1:14 left but a three-point play from Anderson cut the lead in half. After Bethany's Stacy Goode missed a jumper, Grove City freshman C.J. Beatty (Columbus, Ohio/Worthington Christian) drained two free throws with 34 seconds left, closing the gap to one.

Six seconds later, Goode missed two free throws and Anderson grabbed the rebound of the second miss. Slater's layup put Grove City ahead but on the ensuing possession, Anderson fouled Bethany center Renee Brandenburg with 13 seconds left. Brandenburg missed both foul shots and after Slater sank two free throws to make it a three-point game, Bethany's Tara Harris missed a game-tying three-point attempt as time expired.

Grove City shot 16 of 21 (76 percent) at the foul line, including a 10-for-12 effort in the second half. Bethany, meanwhile, made just eight of 16 free throws in the second half. For the game, Bethany shot 13 of 25 at the foul line.

The Wolverines shot 54 percent (13 of 24) from the field in the first half and led 34-28 at the intermission. Bethany used a 22-4 run midway through the second half to take its 58-44 lead. Kaitlyn McCormick led the Bison with 14 points while Harris added 11.

Grove City owned a 47-41 edge on the glass. Grove City shot 26 of 60 (43 percent) from the field for the game while Bethany shot 37 percent (25 of 68). The Wolverines are 8-0 this year when scoring 61 points or more.

It is Grove City's first PAC Championship Tournament victory since 2004. Grove City had been 0-4 all-time at Bethany in the PAC Tournament. The Wolverines had never won a Tournament game as the lower-seeded team. Bethany swept Grove City in the regular season.

Grove City will face top seed Thomas More Friday night at 8 p.m. in the PAC Tournament semifinals. Thomas More defeated Waynesburg Tuesday night, 61-33, to improve to 26-0 on the season.

Box Score

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