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As Bethel College junior post Abby Schmidt continues to add to her records, her seventh blocked shot of the game and 210th of her career was one of her biggest, knocking away a Naria Hall shot at the buzzer to preserve a 65-63 win over Friends University on Wednesday in KCAC play at Thresher Gym.
"I just saw that girl coming and I did what I did all year, and that was keep my hands up," Schmidt said. "I just trusted my other teammates to cover other people and it all worked out."
Schmidt finished with 22 points, 20 rebounds, 7 blocked shots and 4 steals. Alex Bearup added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Brielle Hampton scored 15 points, 11 in the second half.
Bethel avenges a two-point loss to the Falcons earlier this season in Wichita.
"It’s a testament to our entire team when two people can have double-doubles," Schmidt said. "It means everyone is doing their job. It was a total team effort tonight."
"Friends is playing really well right now," Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. "They just beat Oklahoma Wesleyan by 30. They tried to speed the game up and take us out of some of the sets we tried to run. Credit to them. We had 11 turnovers in the third quarter and only four in the fourth quarter. We were able to turn it around and get things done."
Schmidt saw a lot of double teams, especially early in the game. When Bearup started scoring, Friends was forced to play single coverage on Schmidt.
"Credit to my teammates, but when they doubled (Schmidt), I was able to find the ball," Bearup said. "I was able to knock down shots for my team. They kept it close, but me and Abby kept us in it and we won."
"You have to give credit to Abby," Johnson said. "She comes ready to do battle. She doesn’t let things deter her. She kept playing. She almost had a triple-double. It was fun. Abby does such a nice job of continuing to play. When we weren’t able to go in to Abby early, Alex had a nice first quarter and a good stretch in the second quarter. That’s what kept us in it. We had some big-time performances in the second half. Brielle had a nice second half and Abby had some monster rebounds."
Bethel struggled with turnovers in the first quarter, trailing by as many as three. Bethel cut it to one at the end of the period, 14-13.
Each team enjoyed three-point leads in the second quarter. A pair of Brielle Hampton free throws with 9.4 seconds left in the quarter sent the Threshers into intermission with a 29-27 lead.
Bethel led by six early in the third quarter, but turnovers allowed Friends to take the lead with an 11-0 run. Down by as many as eight, a Melinda Vargas shot with four seconds left in the period got the Threshers back within three, 46-43.
Bethel took the lead 49-48 on a Kayla Newman layup with 8:10 remaining in regulation. More BC turnovers allowed Friends to get back out by as many as four. A Schmidt layup tied the game with 2:50 remaining in regulation. Hampton followed with a 3-pointer 1:10 later. Macie Price added a free throw with 1:10 in regulation. Bethel rebounded the miss, but missed the subsequent shot.
HaLee Roland hit a layup for Friends with 39.1 seconds in regulation, but missed a free throw on the play. Roland hit a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left. Hampton hit one of two free throws for Bethel with 2.5 seconds to play.
The Threshers are 13-14, 9-12 in KCAC play. Bethel remains in ninth in the KCAC with three games remaining. Friends is 13-15, 10-12 in the KCAC. The Falcons are tied for eighth with the top eight teams advancing to the post-season tourney.
"We’ve embraced the pressure pretty well," Schmidt said. "We have adopted the idea that each one is personal. We have a chance to do something that’s pretty special. We’re the hunting team, not the hunted. We believe in our abilities."
Bethel hosts Avila at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Eagles are 14-9, 14-6 in KCAC play. The Eagles beat Bethel 65-50 earlier this season in Kansas City, Kan.
"It’s playoff basketball time, but that’s what makes it fun," Johnson said. "It’s stressful and they are intense, but they are fun. Our team has handled that well. We’ll need a game-plan against Avila. (Paige) Bunn had a good game against us. We were in the game at halftime. We’re going to need to find a way to slow her down."
FRIENDS (13-15, 10-12 KCAC) — Alex Mulinax 1-3 0-2 2, Tiffany Hurd 0-2 0-2 0, Khadijah Kelly 1-9 1-2 3, Naria Hall 9-13 1-2 19, HaLee Roland 3-9 2-5 9, Patriece Dodson 5-14 0-0 11, Gracie Sammons 1-2 0-0 3, Seuvahnia Kuka 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie Shippy 0-1 0-0 0, Kira Ward 7-9 0-0 16. TOTALS 27-63 4-13 63.
BETHEL (13-14, 9-12 KCAC) — Brielle Hampton 4-8 5-6 15, Josie Calzonetti 0-3 4-4 4, Kayla Newman 2-3 2-2 6, Alex Bearup 4-15 6-6 15, Abby Schmidt 6-13 10-13 22, Melinda Vargas 1-4 0-0 2, Macie Price 0-3 1-2 1. TOTALS 17-49 28-33 65.
Total fouls — Fr. 24, BC 8. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — Fr.: Lomax :06.2-4q, Roland :02.5-4q. 3-point shooting — Fr. 5-21 (Kelly 0-1, Hall 0-2, Roland 1-6, Dodson 1-7, Sammons 1-2, Shippy 0-1, Ward 2-2), BC 3-15 (Hampton 2-4, Calzonetti 0-2, Bearup 1-6, Vargas 0-1, Price 0-2). Rebounds — Fr. 29 (Hall 6), BC 49 (Schmidt 20). Assists — Fr. 14 (Kelly 4, Dodson 4), BC 9 (Bearup 3). Turnovers — Fr. 10 (Roland 2, Ward 2, Mulinax 2, Kuka 2), BC 21 (Bearup 8). Blocked shots — Fr. 2 (Hurd 1, Roland 1), BC 9 (Schmidt 7). Steals — Fr. 15 (Dodson 5), BC 7 (Schmidt 4).