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Lady Pilots appear well prepared, claim impressive 3-0 start

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After defeating 18th ranked IU Northwest 67-60, the Lady Pilot basketball team created enough momentum to travel to Nebraska and collect two more quality wins to open up the season. With the loss of some very influential seniors from last year’s team, returning players such as Laura Johnson, Baysia Cox, and Kristin Hicks have stepped up their game and made Bethel an early contender. It is never easy opening up a season with a young team, and it can be even more difficult doing to on the road. Nevertheless, the Lady Pilots seemed to have faced adversity well in their first game of the season at IU Northwest. They wasted no time, claiming an early 17-7 lead as if there weren’t any nerves to be dealt with. From there IU Northwest was able to slowly climb back and the Lady Pilots held a 32-31 lead at halftime. Then with just twelve minutes remaining in the game, IU Northwest briefly claimed a four point lead over Bethel. However, the Lady Pilots began to play like experienced veterans stepping up their defense and finding ways to get to the basket. Bethel would end up forcing a total of 26 turnovers on the night. As the Lady Pilots recaptured the lead late in the game, they did an excellent job closing it out and keeping IU Northwest out of the contest. Johnson had a whopping 27 points on the night, while Harvey scored a career high 14 points. From there the team traveled to Nebraska, where they faced Midland University. It was a close battle but in the end the Lady Pilots were able to pull out a strong 77-75 victory. It was a tough even fight the entire way as Bethel would find themselves down one with 2:55 remaining. Ashlee Ort then hit a deep three pointer, putting the Lady Pilots up by two and they would not lose that lead. Johnson continued to be a huge contributor to the offense with 22 points. Hicks also contributed 15 points. The Lady Pilots continued to get the job done on defense as well as they forced 29 turnovers. The team then competed their last game of this Nebraska road trip by taking on Mount Marty College. Despite only leading by two at the break, the Lady Pilots were able to pull away from the Lancers in the second half due to a dominance in the post by Cox and Sarah Clark. Cox led the way for Bethel with 15 points, Hicks added 14, and Clark chipped in 10. Overall, the Lady Pilots shot very well from the field and were able to overcome a tough Mount Marty defense that shut down several Bethel starters.
The Pilot offense led by Laura Johnson has been very productive early in the 2011-12 season. (photo by Jeff Welsh)
As a result the Lady Pilots have quickly moved to 3-0 on the season. Nevertheless, their road trip continues this Tuesday, Nov. 8 as they travel across town to take on IUSB. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.  
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