Winfield, Kan. - The saying goes that it is hard to beat a team three times in one season. The Bethel College women's basketball team was hoping that would be the case for Southwestern as the Moundbuilders beat the the Threshers in its two regular season meetings. Unfortunately, Bethel College couldn't erase a 16 point half-time deficit and fell to the Moundbuiders 62-82 in the first round of the KCAC tournament.
The first half was a back and forth affair until 13:28 when Bethel College would grab a 6-5 lead, its only lead of the game. At that point Southwestern College took control of the game reeling off a 12-0 run holding Bethel scoreless for five minutes until a 3-pointer by Spencer Suderman. The Moundbuilders held a 10-14 point lead for the rest of the half and with 2 seconds left Brett Bates scored a bucket in the paint to give the Moundbuilders a 16 point half-time lead.
The difference in the half was shooting. Bethel College was only able to manage 27% while Southwestern put in 52% of their attempts.
The second half began with a Chelsea Harris basket and once again the game was back and forth. Bethel cut the lead to 8 points with 12:06 left on the clock and that is when Southwestern went on a 6-0 run, scoring back to back 3 pointers. With Bethel College keeping the deficit at no bigger than 13 points the Moundbuilders once again went on a mini-run, scoring 5 points that got the lead back to 16 points with 7:07 left to play. From that point on Bethel College was not able to get any closer than 14 points and Southwestern was able to balloon their lead to 22 with just 43 seconds left to play.
Bethel College, who finishes the year 11-15 overall and 7-11 in conference play, was lead by senior Jessica Muckenthaler with 18 points. Harris added 11 points and Katie Regier chipped in 10 points. Jordyn Blanson led in rebounding with 9 and Harris grabbed 7.
For Southwestern College, Brittney Chamberlin came off the bench to lead all scorers with 25 and Courtney Watson scored 17. Southwestern advances to the semi-final round of the KCAC tournament and will Kansas Wesleyan on Saturday, Feb. 25.