February 1, 2014

McDonald leads Grove City past Bethany

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Sophomore Mary McDonald (Slippery Rock, Pa./Portersville Christian) poured in a career-high 24 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds as the Grove City College women's basketball team closed the game on a 20-6 run to earn a 75-69 come-from-behind victory over Bethany in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in College Arena.

Junior Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) posted 19 points and a season-high six assists for the Wolverines (5-13, 4-8 PAC) while sophomore Kathryn Erbelding (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Olympia) recorded a double-double off the bench with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Grove City jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on a pair of McDonald jumpers and a pair of free throws by freshman Jackie Stewart (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley), but Bethany (4-15, 3-9) responded with a 9-2 run of their own to take a 9-8 lead just over five minutes into the game.

After trading baskets, Lauren Simpson would hit a pair of threes for the Bison to give them a 20-16 lead, but sophomore Ausinette Rodriguez (Frederick, Md./Urbana) and McDonald would each make layups to even the score and Erbelding would score on consecutive possessions to give the Wolverines a 24-20 edge with 8:36 remaining.

The Wolverine advantage grew to nine at 32-23 on a Natalija Galens (Covert, Mich./Grace) layup but Bethany would use an 11-2 run to close the gap to two before a Rodriguez layup in the final 30 seconds gave Grove City a 38-34 halftime lead.

Bethany would open the second half on a 21-8 surge to take their largest lead at 55-46 with 12:47 remaining and would maintain a lead between six and nine points over the next four minutes. Grove City would not go down on this day, charging back with a 12-0 run of their own to take a 67-63 lead with 5:41 to play.

The Bison evened the score with four straight points from Sami Schott but Shirey drained her second three of the game at a key time to put the Wolverines back on top. After a Shelva Burns layup cut the deficit back to one, McDonald hit a big foul-line jumper to put Grove City up by three, and after a defensive stop, Shirey would hit a pair of free throws to secure the win.

Mikyla Tipton led four Bison in double-figures with 14 points.

Grove City shot 46 percent (29-63) from the floor and 83 percent (15-18) from the foul line in what was one of their most complete offensive performances of the season. The Wolverines held a commanding 46-27 advantage on the glass and committed a season-low 11 turnovers.

Grove City will be back in action on Monday, hosting Franciscan in a non-conference game that has been rescheduled twice due to weather. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Box Score

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