Hesston College women’s head coach Dan Harrison was looking for a little fight in his team after falling to Friends just two nights ago. He wasn’t sure where he was going to get it but his team gave him an emphatic answer from the very start to the very end, crushing rival Bethel College 61-35.
“Everybody’s got to fly around and get to their spots, move on the ball and make the person uncomfortable and then the next step is getting the rebounds and we did that,” said Harrison.
Indeed the Larks defense swarmed Bethel’s players and in turn forced turnovers and denied easy shots. Bethel committed 22 turnovers in the contest and shot just 19 percent from the floor.
The Larks, meanwhile, have had better offensive days, committing 20 turnovers of their own and shooting 38 percent from the floor, but got a particularly strong performance from freshman Bethany Snow who contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds, both of which would lead all players. Her strong night along with sophomore Makayla Ladwig’s 12 points was enough to propel the Larks past the struggling shooters of Bethel.
The game started close enough, but quickly blew open when Hesston took an 11-6 with 12:40 to play and turned it into a 36-12 halftime lead. Bethel’s offense was punch less in the first half, taking wild shots just to prevent shot clock violations and failing to convert on free throws (55 percent).
The second half was much more even with both teams struggling on offense. Harrison acknowledged that his team sputtered at the onset, but was confident in his players. “We just had to keep rotating personnel and trying different plays for different people. Once we got a couple of shots in we could relax and make more shots.”
Hesston would end up winning the second half by the slim margin of 25-23, but that was more than enough to keep a safe distance from Bethel for the entirety of the contest. The closest Bethel would ever get in the half was within 21 of Hesston.
Hesston (3-5) plays next at Cottey College in Nevada, MO and comes to Yost Center again on Nov. 26 against Southeast CC.