- Kansas City, Mo. –The No. 24 Bethel University Lady Wildcats will be making their fourth appearance in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Series which begins March 13 in Frankfort, Kentucky at the Franklin Convention Center. Bethel appeared in the championship in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The Lady Wildcats advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2011. Bethel is 2-3 in the championship series. Bethel will face No. 11 Benedictine College in first round action Thursday night, March 14 at 8:45 p.m. It is the first championship series appearance ever for the Lady Ravens. The Matchup: The Lady Cats enter the game with a 21 -10 record. The Lady Cats are coming off a 68-54 loss to No. 1 ranked Freed-Hardeman in the semi-finals of the TranSouth Athletic Conference tournament. Bethel was 4-4 in conference play during the regular season. Bethel was 16-2 at home this year. The Lady Cats were 5-8 in road games and did not play a neutral site game during the 2012-13 season. Bethel played five teams this season who are in the 32-team field. Benedictine was 27-5 on the season and qualified by being the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season runner-up. They had a 16-3 conference mark and won 14 of their 17 home games. BC was 13-2 on the road. They are coming off a 78-70 conference tournament loss to Central Methodist. On the Air: Cat and Lady Cat basketball can be heard on WEIO, 100.9, The Farm, with pre-game action beginning thirty minutes prior to tip-off. Dave McCulley, Adam Welch, and Derrick Hubble call the action. Fans can also listen at www.thefarmradio.com. Coaches: Chris Nelson is in his seventh season as head coach of the Lady Wildcats. He is 135 -86 in his career. He has carried the Lady Wildcats to all four of their NAIA Division I championship series appearances. Chad Folsom is in his 12th season as the head coach at Benedictine. He is 259-131 with the Ravens. His teams have averaged 21-plus win seasons 11 straight seasons. Coach Nelson's Comment's: "We are ecstatic to be playing this time of year. We are very proud of the work our girls have been able to accomplish and getting our program back to the National Tournament. The journey to get to this point is always long, but the reward of getting here and competing against 31 other teams for a National Championship is something special. Only two teams in the whole field have ever won the tourney (OK City/ Vanguard) so we feel like it is wide open. It is a fun time of year and our girls are ready to enjoy it. We will prep for Benedictine and come up with a game plan, but the goal is for us to be the best version of our team we can possibly be and we feel like that is good enough." Did You Know? Bethel is 18-2 when they lead at the half. They are 3-7 when they trail at the break. The Lady Cars are 0-1 when tied at the break. The Lady Cats are 19-2 when they out rebound their opponent. They are 2-7 when they are out rebounded. They are 0-1 when tied in a game. Bethel is 19-5 when they force their opponent into more turnovers. They are 2-4 when they commit more turnovers. They are 0-1 when they are tied in turnovers. Bethel is 15-1 when they outshoot their opponent. They are 6-9 when outshot. The Lady Cats are 12-3 when they make more free throws. They are 8-5 when the opponent makes more free throws in a game. They are 1-2 when tied in free throws. Bethel is 16-5 when they make more three's in a contest. They are 2-4 when the opponent makes more three's in a game. Bethel is 3-1 when tied in three-pointers. The Lady Cats are 18-3 when they have more steals in a game. They are 2-6 when the opponent has more. They are 1-1 when they are tied in steals. Bethel is 16-2 at home. They are 5-8 on the road. The Lady Cats are 11-8 at night and 10- 2 in day games. Bethel is 12th in the country in three-pointers made per contest at 6.8 per game. Benedictine is 13th in the nation averaging 6.7 three's made per game. The Lady Cats are 14th in scoring offense per game at 73.1. Four Lady Wildcats average in double figures in scoring per game. Alisha Gentry averages 14.4 points per game. Jasmine Taylor pops in 12.7 points per contest. Jackliann Street averages 10.8 points per game. Perica Glenn is averaging 10.9 points per contest. Glenn has scored in double figures in nine of Bethel's last ten games. Glenn is shooting 55 percent from the foul line on the season but has hit over 75 percent from there in her last 14 games. Katie Van Dyke has hit 147 three-point field goals in her Bethel career. She is one point from 500 in her career at Bethel. Her 65 three's this season ties her for sixth most in a season with Kayla McSweeney (01-02). Jasmine Taylor surpassed the 600 career point mark against Blue Mountain Saturday. She has scored 632 points as a Lady Wildcat. The 45 points scored by Lorna Hudson against Morthland is the national scoring high in any single game in the nation this season. Bethel had four players named as TranSouth Conference Scholar Athletes. Congratulations to Halie Miller, Lorna Hudson, Jasmine Porter, and Camille Copper for their efforts on and off the court. Alisha Gentry and Jasmine Taylor were named to the TSAC All-Conference squad. Lorna Hudson and Jackliann Street were named to the all-freshman team with Street being named as the Freshman of the Year. Bethel is 3-0 when scoring 100 points or more in a game. Bethel is 2-0 when the score in the 90's. They are 5-0 when scoring in the 80's. The Lady Cats are 5-1 when scoring in the 70's. They are 4-3 when in the 60's. The Lady Cats are 1-4 when scoring in the 50's and 1-2 when scoring in the 40's. The Ravens are led in scoring by junior Justice Payne who averages 12.7 points per game. She has hit a school record 87 three-pointers this season. The Ravens are 10th in the nation in team three's made with 216. Senior Kelsey Anselmi is seventh in the nation averaging 5.5 assists per game. She has 177 assists on the year and is 13 shy of setting a new single season school record.
- Potential traditional undergraduate students can get a good idea of what Bethel University is all about Saturday, March 16, by attending an Open House hosted by the College of Liberal Arts Office of Enrollment Services. Held on Bethel’s McKenzie campus, the Open House will allow students to tour the campus and to meet with campus representatives. Additionally, students will get the chance to interact with current Bethel University students. Those who wish to attend the March 16 Open House are encouraged to contact Bethel’s Office of Enrollment Services either by phone at 731-352-4030 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bethel University has been accepted as a new member to the Southern States Athletic Conference. The SSAC is widely regarded as one of the premier NAIA conferences in the country. Bethel will begin competition in the SSAC starting this fall. Conference officials were recently on campus touring the school and conducting interviews for the conference's regular television show. Bethel will be featured on Sports South this weekend. The feature on Bethel will be airing on Friday, March 1, on Sports South at 5:00 PM CST. If fans have DirecTV that comes on channel 649 and Channel 437 on Dish Network There will also be a re-run that will air on the same channel on Sunday (3/3) at 10:00 AM CST. Fans will also be able to view the show the conference website after it airs on television. Fans can access this via the conference website: www.ssacsports.com > Under 'SSAC Links' menu on left hand side click 'Southern States Showcase'. Direct link to the Showcase Page- http://www.ssacsports.com/SSAC_Showcase.php
- The Bethel University Testing Center is now offering CLEP tests. CLEP is a computer-based exam that allows individuals to earn college credit by demonstrating prior knowledge of a subject. In other words, students who take the 90-minute multiple choice exam and pass don't have to take that course. Official score reports are available immediately after the test. Interested students can see their adviser or come by the Testing Center in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment for more information. They can also call 731-352-6921 to schedule a test or they can go to http://www.bethelu.edu/testingcenter
- Allie Boyd of Savannah, Tenn., is Bethel University’s 2013 Hendrix Scholarship winner. Boyd was chosen based on competition examination scores and an interview process. As the winner of the Hendrix Scholarship, Boyd will earn full tuition, room and board at Bethel. Boyd attends Hardin County High School, and she attends Olivet Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Boyd, who plans to major in pre-professional health, is the daughter of Jeff and Tammy Boyd. Jacob Cobb of Dresden is the runner-up in the competition and will earn full tuition. Cobb attends Dresden High School and is of the Baptist faith. The son of Darran and Dawn Cobb, he plans to major in criminal justice. Boyd and Cobb can both renew their scholarships each year as long as they maintain a 3.6 grade point average (GPA). The Bethel University Hendrix Scholarship celebrates its 25th year in 2013. It was established by Willard R. Hendrix, a successful Nashville civic leader and businessman who had a great desire to bring qualified and dedicated faculty into contact with outstanding and deserving students. This year, 39 students participated in the competition. Located in McKenzie, Bethel University is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees through both classroom and online settings. For more information about Bethel University, go to www.bethelu.edu.
- BassRanking.com announced on Thursday, the Bethel University Wildcat Bass Fishing Team is now ranked #1 in the nation for collegiate bass fishing. BassRanking.com is the largest bass fishing ranking organization in America; they rank not only college bass fishing teams but also professional and semi-professional anglers as well as keep statistics on anglers and teams all across America. "This is a very high honor," said Bethel University's Head Coach, Garry Mason. "Over the past three years, we have fished against the largest colleges and universities in America, which makes this accomplishment even more remarkable. We have been blessed to have recruited the talent that we have here at Bethel, and these students are the reason we are in this position today. The Bethel University Bass Cats have worked very hard to achieve this ranking and should be very proud of this accomplishment. We owe a huge amount of gratitude to the Bethel University community for all the support that we have received in the quest to become the #1 collegiate bass fishing team in America."
- Three members of the Bethel Shooting team have earned All-American status. Joseph Recla, Justin Slater, and Lauren Hyde have been named All-Americans according to sources involved with the sport. Joseph Recla, a freshman from Mahonoy Plane, Pennsylvania was named to the 2013 ATA Junior 1st All-American squad. Justin Slater, a freshman from Phillips, New York was also named to the team. Lauren Hyde, a junior form Gardendale, Tennessee earned second team All-American status. In June, Recla will be recognized as the Pennsylvania 2013 Trap Shooter of the Year. Congratulations to these student-athletes on their honors.
- Mark your calendars for the 2013 West Tennessee Day of Percussion on March 23 at the Marrs-Stockton Music Building on Bethel's McKenzie campus! All performers, educators, enthusiasts, and the curious are welcome to attend the DoP hosted by Bethel University. A $5 admission will gain you access to some of the best percussion events you have ever seen, including a full audience participation drum circle! [drums and instruction provided] TONS of free door prizes will be given away all day! Special guest is B. Michael Williams, world percussionist. Contact Dr. Josh Smith at 731-352-6724 if your Middle School or High School percussion duo, trio, or quartet is interested in performing.
- Bethel University’s Pep Band members are finding blessings in nearby Huntingdon’s Carroll Academy gymnasium, according to Josh Smith, Assistant Professor of Music. The group has been attending the school’s basketball games and serving as pep band/cheer section for the Jaguars during the last couple of the school’s home basketball games. Smith said the group decided to do this after he and his wife read a series of articles about Carroll Academy that were published in the New York Times. “We also heard more about these young people at Carroll Academy in conversations with people at our church,” Smith said. “Our hearts just kind of sank to realize many of these kids don’t have any support at their games. So my wife and I got to thinking, and we decided I should pitch the idea to the Pep Band to go support these kids.” Smith said when he pitched the idea to his band members, almost every single one of them raised their hand to volunteer to do it. “After our first visit there,” Smith said, “I knew it was the beginning of something special. We had Carroll Academy administrators rushing to us to thank us. They had tears of joy in their eyes, and they reminded us that this would have a great impact on these kids. They even arranged to get us Carroll Academy T-shirts that we could wear on return visits. “And our students…they got so much out of it. Their first question was when can we go back?” Smith said they did go back, and they plan to continue to show what he calls Christ-like love to these students. “This is a way we can show Christ-like love to these students,” Smith said. “The Carroll Academy students work hard on that basketball court, and it’s important to us that they know that we appreciate and love them for their contributions to the game.” Smith said he is very proud of the Bethel Pep Band members for serving in this way. “We are serving people around us,” Smith said. “That’s what I love about this group of kids. We are a musical pillar in this community, and they have the talent through music to brighten other people’s days.” Pep Band member Dacoyda Heath says the Carroll Academy games have been an awesome experience. “To know that we are making such an impact,” Heath said. “We can see it on their faces, and knowing that we maybe have offered a little bit of happiness or support feels really good.” When asked what he hopes the Carroll Academy students get from the experience, Smith said, “I hope they get a taste of love and support. That was the motivating factor behind all of it. They are important too. I know it’s just a game. But there is no reason they can’t know that other people in their community appreciate them and love them.”
- Bethel University is proud to present an evening with legendary Basketball Coach and ESPN Analyst Bobby Knight Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena on the campus of Bethel University. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, Feb. 14. Knight currently serves as a basketball analyst for ESPN. He retired as the winningest coach in NCAA history with 902 wins-mostly coming at Indiana University and Texas Tech University. He also coached at West Point. While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships, one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. He received the National Coach of the Year honor four times and the Big Ten Coach of the Year honor eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men's Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title, and an Olympic gold medal. Coach Knight was one of college basketball's most successful and innovative coaches, having perfected and popularized the motion offense. He has also been praised for running clean programs (none of his teams were ever sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations) and graduating most of his players. The event will serve as an athletic fundraising event for Bethel's 30 athletic programs. This past year, Bethel University provided over 800 students an opportunity to earn a top notch college education as a student athlete. Tickets will go on sale this Thursday at Bethel's home basketball game against Freed-Hardeman University. Beginning February 15 tickets can be purchased in the Bethel University Bookstore, via phone at (731) 352-6445 or at remaining Bethel home basketball games. Fans can pay by cash or check. Most credit cards will also be accepted. Ticket prices include: Table of Ten-$1250, Floor seats-$125(includes seat at table with meal), Chairback Seats-$20, Bleacher Seats-$10, Student Bleacher-$5 All seating is reserved seating. For corporate sponsorships call Myra Carlock at (731) 352-4090, or Brad Chappell at (731) 352-6432.