The Bethel College women’s basketball team showed a lot of fight against the NAIA Division I Benedictine Ravens Wednesday night at Thresher Gym. The Threshers also showed their youth at times, but cut an 18-point deficit to two, before falling 73-68. “I’m so proud of our kids,” Bethel coach Mark Fox said. “I told them after the game never be satisfied with a loss, but that was a top 25 NAIA Division I team, and we were down by two with 30 seconds to go. They beat several teams in our conference by a much wide margin.” Bethel outscored the Ravens 43-33 in the second half. Erin Murphy led the 5-1 Ravens with 13 points. Justice Payne scored 12 and Rosie Youngstrom scored 11. Bethel was led by a pair of freshmen. Lauren Ulrich scored a season-high 27 points, hitting five of seven 3-pointers. Ulrich scored 21 points in the second half. Kendra Scott scored 10 points, eight in the second half. “The freshmen really stepped up for us,” Fox said. “Lauren was five of seven on 3-pointers. She worked hard. I know she was exhausted by the end of the game. She worked well with Haley (Bright) and Jessica (Ebenkamp). Our guards are starting to figure each other out. Taylor Durant, Kendra Scott and Jaime Tschetter all worked well with each other inside. I like the way this team is coming together.” Bethel took an early 7-6 lead, but then gave up a 10-0 run. Bethel had four turnovers in the run. Bethel took a time out, but gave up four more points in the run. Bethel trailed by as many as 18, but pulled within 13 in the final minute. A Murphy layup with 10 seconds left in the half put Benedictine back up by 15, 40-25, at intermission. Bethel was outrebounded 23-13 in the first half with 15 turnovers. Bethel hit just nine of 25 from the field. Bethel made a 5-0 run to open the second half on a layup and a trey by Ulrich. Benedictine replied with a 10-2 run. Bethel again got back within 10 on a Samantha Wilkerson hook shot with 9:06 remaining in regulation. A Tschetter block set up a pair of Ulrich free throws. An Ulrich trey with 2:15 remaining got Bethel within six. The Ravens replied with a pair of free throws. An Urlch trey with 1:17 to play got the Threshers to within five. After two defensive stops, Scott hit a 12-foot jumper, was fouled and hit the free throw. “We were trying to work something to Lauren, but they had her guarded pretty tight,” Fox said. “I was afraid Kendra might panic, but she took a good shot and hit it. She has been a big surprise for us this season.” With 25.1 seconds remaining, Youngstrom hit one of two free throws. Bethel missed a shot at the other end. Kelsey Anselmi put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws with 7.2 seconds left. Bethel, 3-2, hosts Haskell Indian Nations University at 8 p.m. Friday in the Bethel Classic. Bethel hosts William Penn at 4 p.m. Saturday. Haskell is 1-3. William Penn received votes in the NAIA Division II poll and is 2-3. The Statesmen have a win over no. 18 Hastings and losses to no. 1 Concordia, no. 8 Briar Cliff and no. 5 Morningside. William Penn also has a 98-55 exhibition loss to NCAA Division I Iowa State. “We can’t practice tomorrow because of NAIA rules on practice limits,” Fox said. “We’ll try to get some film on Haskell to look at. We have two tough tests coming up.”
BENEDICTNE (5-1) — Murphy 5-9 3-5 13, Thrash 3-4 0-0 6, Anselmi 0-2 4-4 4, Payne 4-10 2-2 12, Stinson 2-8 2-3 6, Youngstrom 3-6 4-6 111, Barr 3-8 0-0 8, Ziesel 2-5 1-4 5, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Reed 2-5 4-4 8, TOTALS 24-58 20-28 73. BETHEL (3-2) — Scott 4-5 2-3 10, Durant 3-7 1-2 7, Ebenkamp 0-2 0-0 0, Ulrich 8-18 6-7 27, Wilkerson 2-4 0-2 4, Goniea 0-0 0-0 0, Zerger 1-2 1-2 3, Brit.Bates 0-3 0-0 0, Tschetter 4-4 0-0 8, Bright 3-7 0-0 9, TOTALS 25-52 10-16 68. Benedictine 40 33 —73 Bethel 25 43 —68 Total fouls — Ben. 17, Btl. 22. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — Btl.: Ulrich. 3-point shooting — Ben. 5-18 (Murphy 0-1, Thrash 0-1, Anselmi 0-1, Payne 2-6, Youngstrom 1-2, Barr 2-5, Ziesel 0-1, Reed 0-1), Btl. 8-14 (Ulrich 5-7, Wilkerson 0-1, Bright 3-6). Rebounds — Ben. 41 (Murphy 9), Btl. 27 (Durant 8). Assists — Ben. 15 (Anselmi 7), Btl. 16 (Ebenkamp 5, Ulrich 5). Turnovers — Ben. 22 (Youngstrom 4), Btl. 24 (Ulrich 6). Blocked shots — Ben. 1 (Anselmi 1), Btl. 3 (Tschetter 3). Steals — Ben. 12 (Barr 3, Reed 3), Btl. 8 (Scott 2, Durant 2).