STERLING — The Bethel College women’s basketball team couldn’t match the shooting of 13th-ranked (NAIA Division II) Sterling College, falling 79-70 Saturday night in KCAC play in Sterling.

Sterling improves to 12-0, 8-0 in KCAC play. Bethel falls to 10-2, 6-2 in KCAC play.

Sterling went 29 of 60 from the field for 48.3 percent. Bethel was 25 of 71 for 35.1 percent. Bethel was outscored 24-18 from 3-point range, 12-6 in the first half.

“Sterling was really efficient tonight,” Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. “There’s a reason why they are one of the best teams in the country right now. They are a very talented team. It’s something we continue to work on. We want to make sure teams have to guard us. I’m going to have to watch some film on this.”

Sterling was led by freshman Taya Wilson with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Kylah Comley added 17 points with seven assists, scoring 12 points in the second half. Jessica Carrillo scored 13 points and Alexis Theus scored 12 points.

Bethel was led by freshman Kendall Michalski with 18 points. Abby Schmidt scored 16 points with with nine rebounds. Jade Brown scored 14 points with eight rebounds.

Schmidt was named KCAC defensive player of the week for the second time this season. In two games, Schmidt had 25 points, 21 rebounds, one assist and 10 blocked shots.

The biggest lead for either team in the first quarter was three points. Schmidt hit a layup and a free throw with 3.2 seconds left in the period to put Bethel up 19-17.

Alex Bearup opened the second quarter with a three-foot jumper for Bethel. Josie Calzonetti followed with a layup, prompting a Sterling time out. The Warriors then hit back-to-back layups. Moundridge grad Bethany Stucky tied the game for Sterling on a layup with 4:13 left in the half.

The Warriors regained a one-point lead on a Wilson trey with 3:38 left in the half. A Comley trey put the Warriors up by six with 2:33 to play. A Wilson trey with the shot clock expiring and 37 seconds left on the game clock put Sterling up 36-29 at the half.

Sterling led by 10 in the first 2:11 of the third quarter, prompting a Thresher time out. A Comley trey put Sterling up by 13 with 5:39 left in the period. A Karlie Schroeder trey got Bethel within eight. Brown followed with two free throws with 2:40 left in the period.

Calzonetti hit a trey with 1:42 left in the period to put Bethel within three and prompt a Sterling time out. Sterling broke the run with a trey with 1:19 left in the quarter. Another trey put Sterling up 56-49 at the end of the quarter.

Jessica Carrillo opened the fourth quarter with a layup, followed by a short Wilson jumper.

Schmidt went down hard when fouled on a rebound with 8:35 to play. Sydney Bangert followed with a layup to put Sterling up 13. Michalski broke the run with a trey with 8:01 to play. Brown followed with a layup.

Schmidt returned with 4:40 to play, hitting two free throws 30 seconds later. A Brown trey and one of two Schroeder free throws got Bethel back within seven with 3:30 to play.

“I’m thankful for our training staff evaluating her and making sure she’s OK,” Johnson said.

After a pair of Sterling misses from the line, Carrillo hit a layup with two minutes to play. A Carrillo three-point play with 1:10 remaining put Sterling up by 11.

“We were down by three and Bangert hit two threes back-to-back,” Johnson said. “We’ll look to rebound. The difference between good and great teams is the ability to rebound from a loss.”

Bethel hosts Ottawa at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Braves are 2-9, 2-5 in KCAC play, after a 78-74 loss at home to Kansas Wesleyan.

“We have two tough games left (before the holiday break),” Johnson said. “We just want to talk every game about how every possession matters. We want to go into the break strong. We lost to two nationally-ranked teams on the road. We want to finish as strong as we can. When we get to Christmas break, we will have played about half the schedule.”

BETHEL (10-2, 5-2 KCAC) — Karlie Schroeder 3-13 2-4 9, Riley Schmieder 3-11 0-0 6, Abby Schmidt 5-5 6-8 16, Jade Brown 5-16 3-4 14, Sydney Tenant 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Bearup 0-5 0-0 0, Kendall Michalski 6-10 3-3 18, Josie Calzonetti 3-9 0-0 7, Alyjah Kennedy 0-2 0-2 0. TOTALS 25-71 14-21 70.

STERLING (12-0, 8-0 KCAC) — Kylah Comley 5-17 4-4 17, Sydney Bangert 2-3 0-0 5, Bailey Bangert 3-4 0-0 8, Alexis Theus 5-11 2-4 12, Taya Wilson 7-9 4-4 20, Bethany Stucky 1-4 0-0 2, Kennedy Sokoloski 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Carrillo 5-11 3-3 13, Mayda Stallbaumer 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS 29-60 13-15 79.

Bethel;19;10;20;21;—70

Sterling;17;19;20;23;—79

Total fouls — BC 13, SC 17. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — BC 6-25 (Schroeder 1-6, Brown 1-4, Bearup 0-3, Michalski 3-7, Calzonetti 1-5), SC 8-12 (Comley 3-5, S.Bangert 1-2, B.Bangert 2-3, Wilson 2-2). Rebounds — BC 34 (Schmidt 9), SC 39 (Wilson 16). Assists — BC 6 (Schroeder 2, Schmieder 2), SC 18 (Comley 7). Turnovers — BC 6 (Brown 2), SC 8 (Wilson 3). Blocked shots — BC 4 (Schmidt 3), SC 6 (Wilson 4). Steals — BC 4 (Brown 2), SC 3 (Comley 1, B.Bangert 1, Wilson 1).