Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Women's Basketball - Huskies Effort Falls Short Against West Chester Monday Night

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University women's basketball team played a strong game, but came up short against West Chester in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action on Monday night (Jan. 8) 74-63 at the Nelson Field House.
The Huskies arguably played their best overall game of the season, starting right off the opening tip. After jumping out to a 7-2 lead thanks to two layups from Taylor Montana (Berwick, Pa./Berwick) and an old-fashioned three-point play from Meghan Corridoni (Exeter, Pa./Holy Redeemer), West Chester responded with a jumper from Mia Hopkins and a long ball from Camden Boehner to knot the game at seven. Mack put the Huskies back up with a triple of her own, which Megan Brandt (Lebanon, Pa./Northern Lebanon) followed with back-to-back jumpers to get Bloomsburg up 14-7. The teams traded buckets right off the media timeout, with jumpers by Lexi Bruno and Corridoni to put the game at 16-9. With just under four minutes left in the opening frame, Katherine Fisher scored a layup that was promptly cancelled out by a three-pointer from Marissa Molnar (Erie, Pa./McDowell) that left the Huskies up 19-11. The teams went a minute and a half scoreless before Darcy Lee (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) got in on the scoring to get Bloomsburg a quarter-best 10-point lead with 1:19 left in the frame. An old-fashioned three-point play and a jumper from Bruno left the Huskies up 21-16 after 10 minutes of play.

The Golden Rams came out with momentum in the second quarter, starting the frame with a pair of free throws by Hopkins. On the next trip down the floor, Justyn Roberts got in on the scoring with a jumper to cut their deficit to just one. Just over two minutes into the frame, Bruno and Mack traded jumpers that put Bloomsburg back up by one. A pair of free throws from Hopkins put West Chester back up one, and a jumper from Boehner put them up by three with 6:30 left in the quarter. Molnar again cancelled out the bucket with a triple, tying the game at 26 with just over six minutes to play in the half. After crossing the halfway point of the quarter, Hopkins hit one of two free throws to yet again put West Chester up by one. This time, it was Mack with the cancellation three-ball, putting Bloomsburg up 29-27 with 4:39 left in the half. The teams went a little over a minute scoreless before Mack knocked down a jumper to put her team up by four. Coming up on the final two minutes of the half, Bruno scored a layup to get the game back to one possession. Just after the two-minute mark, it was Molnar with another clutch long ball to stretch the BU lead to five. With 1:05 remaining in the half, Boehner split a pair from the foul line to get West Chester within four. The half ended on a Destiny Jefferson layup to send Bloomsburg to the locker room up 34-32.

The Bloomsburg lead fluctuated in the opening five minutes and change, but the Huskies held from a six-point lead down to a narrow one-point lead during the stretch. A layup by Emma Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) and a jumper from Corridoni got the Huskies lead up to six, before a jumper from Fisher got the game to 38-34. Mack knocked down a pair from the stripe the next trip down the floor, but they were quickly negated by a long ball from Boehner to get West Chester within three. Just over two minutes into the frame, Hopkins got the game to within one with a pair of free throws. From there, a layup from Montana and a jumper from Brandt got the Huskies back up by five, before jumpers from Bruno and Fisher got the game to 44-43 with 4:58 to play in the third. Coming out of the media timeout, Brandt knocked down another jumper that was quickly equalized with another long ball from Boehner to tie the game at 46 with 4:25 to play in the quarter. With under four minutes to play, Fisher and Mack traded jumpers before Boehner knocked down two at the free throw line with just over two minutes to play. With just under two minutes to play, Porscha Speller hit one of two at the line to put West Chester up by three, before Molnar scored a layup to send the game to the fourth with West Chester leading 51-50.

The Huskies would keep it close into the final minutes, but West Chester hit its stride offensively in the fourth quarter to out-score the Huskies 23-13 in the last frame. The Golden Rams led by as many as 13 at two different points in the quarter, and were able to pad their lead from the free throw line.

As a team, Bloomsburg shot 44.1 percent (26-59) from the floor 35.7 (5-14) percent from downtown and 75.0 percent (6-8) from the free throw line. Three players scored in double figures for Bloomsburg, led by Montana's 15 on 7-11 shooting coupled with one free throw. Mack chipped in 14 points on 5-11 shooting including two long balls, while Molnar added 11 on 4-5 shooting including a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc. Five other Huskies scored in the contest. Bloomsburg out-rebounded West Chester 37-28, including a 16-11 advantage on the offensive glass. Montana also led the rebounding effort pulling down a game-high eight boards. Several Huskies matched career-high marks on the night, led by Montana's seven field goals. She last achieved the feat against Clarion back on Dec. 9. Molnar tied career-highs with four field goals (first time since Nov. 12 against Livingstone) and three triples (first time since Dec. 3, 2016 at Mercyhurst).

The loss drops the Huskies to 6-9 overall and 3-6 in conference play, while the win elevates West Chester to 9-4 overall and 6-3 in league play.

The Huskies embark on a three-game road trip beginning with a trip to Millersville on Wednesday (Jan. 10). Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. 

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