BC women use balance to stop Ottawa
A balanced scoring effort led the Bethel College women’s basketball team to a 73-52 win over Ottawa Wednesday in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.
Abby Schmidt, Kendall Michalski, Josie Calzonetti and Kayla Newman each scored 10 points. Schmidt had 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season and 57th for her career.
Alex Bearup and freshman Jaycee Freshour each added nine points. It was a career high for Freshour.
“We’ve worked hard the whole season, and especially during the Christmas break, to convince our players that we believe in them,” Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. “I thought tonight was the first night where everybody stepped on the floor with a newfound confidence. The ball moved. The player created open shots. The players hit open shots. It was great to get everybody in the game and get a lot of people quality minutes where they get to guard some stuff.”
“We’re really hard to guard if we can get everyone in the offense,” Calzonetti said. “It makes it hard to guard us. All season, I feel like there are a few players that their defense focuses on and that allows us to really knock down shots. It was great to play so free and confident tonight.”
Bethel hit 28 of 57 from the field, missing a few shots late to keep the Threshers just under 50 percent. Ottawa was 20 of 58 for 34.5 percent.
Bethel improves to 6-5, 6-3 in KCAC play, rebounding from an 85-63 loss to Baker Monday.
“Baker is really talented and Ottawa as well,” Johnson said. “We’re veteran. We’ve played back-to-back games before. We have to take care of our bodies.”
“We knew after a tough loss we needed to come and prove something,” Calzonetti said. “It was good that we were able to connect together as a team and play for each other. The coach mentioned after the game we had 22 assists and just 16 turnovers, so that was huge for us. It was a good win. We were excited.”
Ottawa, 3-8 overall and 3-6 in KCAC play, was led by Mariah Grizzle with 18 points. Kenecia Payne added 10 points.
A pair of early Michalski 3-pointers helped put Bethel up 14-2. The Threshers led 19-8 at the end of the quarter.
Bethel struggled on offense in the second quarter, allowing Ottawa to get within four. The Threshers ended the quarter on a 10-0 run capped by a Bearup 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Bethel opened the third quarter on a 6-2 run. Bethel led 57-33 at the end of the quarter. Bethel led by as many as 27 in the final period. Ottawa cut that to within 19.
Bethel plays Friends at 1 p.m. Saturday in Wichita. The Falcons are 4-8, 2-7 in KCAC play.
“We’ve been harping about playing with confidence and free,” Calzonetti said. “When we can continue to relax and believe in ourselves, we can continue to play at a high level.”
BETHEL WOMEN 73, OTTAWA 52