The Bethel College women’s basketball team claimed a regular-season sweep of the Ottawa University Braves, winning 86-74 Saturday in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play at Thresher Gym.


The Bethel College women’s basketball team claimed a regular-season sweep of the Ottawa University Braves, winning 86-74 Saturday in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play at Thresher Gym.

Bethel outscored Ottawa 25-10 from the free-throw line.

“Another game where we kind of muddled our way through the first half defensively,” Bethel coach Mark Fox said. “Fortunately, we were much better offensively tonight than we were Thursday versus McPherson. We were never able to get control of them on their end and allowed them to shoot too many uncontested shots, and yet I thought for about a seven- or eight-minute stretch in the second half, we were as good as we’ve been all year on both ends of the floor. And a lot of those goes once again to the job Kelsie Wilson and Jessica Muckenthaler did on the defensive end of the court. They were superb Thursday and provided some terrific awareness plays again tonight — understanding what’s going on around them and stepping in to disrupt the offense.”

Bethel trailed 44-43 at the half as Ottawa hit 57 percent from the field. Bethel held a 35-30 rebounding edge. Ottawa outscored Bethel 36-9 from 3-point range, but had 24 turnovers to 10 for the Threshers.

“The key tonight, when it is all said and done, is that we gave ourselves 15 extra chances at the basket by attacking the glass on our end and coming up with some huge steals at crucial times defensively,” Fox said. “We can’t continue to allow teams to get out to good starts by sitting back on our heels on the defensive end of the court. The ladies have proven they can get out and get stops, and we’re beginning to find an identity on the offensive end, so we need to understand the importance of putting the pieces together.”

Hannah Blackburn led the Threshers with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Angela Wood also scored 20 points. Muckenthaler came off the bench, scoring 19 points. Rachael Bachman scored 10 points.

“Hannah rebounded very well from a, for her, subpar performance on Thursday,” Fox said. “Angela is really coming out of her shell offensively, and she’s starting to become one of the best guards in the conference. Samantha (Askew), Muck and Rachael continue to simply play very steady basketball, and Krishna (Phifer) is slowly but surely learning what it takes to be a point guard and how to run a team.”

Paige Gibson led Ottawa, 3-17 overall and 2-8 in KCAC play, with 13 points. Maggie Hasenkamp scored 12 points. Kylie Covey and Emma Hartzler scored 11 points each.

Bethel improves to 10-8, 6-4 in KCAC play. Bethel hosts Tabor at 6 p.m. Thursday.

OTTAWA (3-17, 2-8 KCAC) — Gibson 4-8 2-2 13, Stone 3-8 1-2 7, Smith 0-3 0-0 0, Covey 5-7 0-0 11, Mueller 3-5 0-0 7, Morris 1-1 1-2 4, Harztler 4-7 2-2 11, Hasenkamp 4-9 0-0 12, Shaffer 0-0 0-0 0, Post 1-3 2-4 5, Sprew 1-1 2-2 4, TOTALS 26-52 10-14 74.

BETHEL (10-8, 6-4 KCAC) — Blackburn 6-16 8-8 20, Askew 2-6 0-0 4, Phifer 0-6 8-10 8, Wood 9-14 0-0 20, Bachman 3-5 3-4 10, Muckenthaler 7-13 5-7 19, VanGundy 1-1 0-0 2, Blanson 0-1 1-2 1, Waltner 0-0 0-0 0, Steingard 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 1-5 0-0 2, Garnett 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 29-67 25-31 86.

Ottawa 44 30 —74

Bethel 43 43 —86

Total fouls — OU 22, BC 14. 3-point shooting — OU 12-27 (Gibson 3-7, Smith 0-1, Covey 1-2, Mueller 1-1, Morris 1-1, Hartzler 1-4, Hasenkamp 4-9, Post 1-2), BC 3-15 (Phifer 0-3, Wood 2-6, Bachman 1-2, Muckenthaler 0-1, Wilson 0-3). Rebounds — OU 30 (Stone 8), BC 35 (Blackburn 14). Assists — OU 18 (Smith 8), BC 15 (Bachman 7). Turnovers — OU 24 (Smith 4, Sprew 4), BC 10 (Bachman 4). Blocked shots — OU 2 (Gibson 1, Covey 1), BC 0. Steals — OU 4 (Morris 2), BC 11 (Wilson 3).