Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Women's Basketball - Huskies Start 2018 with Tough Loss at Kutztown

Women's Basketball | Box Score
KUTZTOWN, PA - The Bloomsburg University women's basketball team dropped their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) contest at eastern division rival Kutztown on Wednesday night (Jan. 3) by a score of 53-45.
The first quarter was riddled with cold shooting and turnovers, but the Golden Bears led 11-6 after 10 minutes. The Huskies set the tone scoring the first six points of the game in 1:44, and went scoreless for the last 8:16 of the frame. Taylor Montana (Berwick, Pa./Berwick) scored the first four points of the game, and Emma Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) scored a baseline layup to extend her team's early lead to 6-0. Rylee Derr got the Golden Bears on the scoreboard just over three minutes in with a three-pointer, before hitting two free throws later in the quarter to get Kutztown within one. The two teams traded empty possessions for two minutes and change, before Keifonna Ferguson scored a layup to get her team up 7-6. Kaila Brown's jumper with 2:01 left got her team up by three, before Karen Lapkiewicz knocked down a jumper with 35 seconds left for the final points of the opening frame.

The Golden Bears were able to stretch their lead to as many as eight in the second quarter, eventually taking a 27-21 lead to the half. Darcy Lee (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) opened the scoring in the quarter for Bloomsburg, but her bucket was quickly countered by a layup from Brown. Taylor Sneidman(Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) knocked down the first triple of the game for BU to get her team back within two, before Taylor Thames extended Kutztown's lead with a pair of free throws. With just over six minutes remaining in the half, Gabbi Wright scored a layup to the lead to six. Saxton scored on the Huskies next two possessions, separated by a layup from Smith to ultimately keep the teams apart by four points 19-15 with just over five minutes to play in the half. Coming out of the media timeout, Kutztown extended their lead further with back-to-back layups by Zoe Zerman. The quick buckets in succession stretched the lead to 23-15, the largest lead of the game for either team. With just over three minutes remaining in the frame, Saxton split a pair of free throws to get BU back within seven, before a made pair of free throws by Alyssa Mack (Walnutport, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) cut the deficit back down to five with two minutes left. Ferguson scored a layup on the ensuing trip down the floor for Kutztown, before Sneidman responded with her second long ball of the quarter to get Bloomsburg within four with 33 seconds left. Zerman was able to sink a late pair of free throws to put her team's lead back at six going to the locker room.

The Huskies responded with a strong third quarter, out-scoring Kutztown 13-9 but still trailed 36-34 after three periods. The Golden Bears scored first in the third quarter on a bucket from Derr to extend their lead to seven, before Saxton was fouled on a made layup to go to the line for one. The freshman sunk the free throw to get BU back within four. The next trip down the floor, Marissa Molnar (Erie, Pa./McDowell) knocked down a jumper to get the Huskies back within two. Just over three minutes into the frame, Montana made one of two free throws to make it a 28-27 game. Two separate Kutztown free throws got their lead back up to three just past the four-minute mark of the frame, and a media timeout was called with four and a half minutes left. Out of the break, Kalee Fuegel scored a layup that was quickly countered by a long ball from Molnar to get the game to 32-30 with just under four minutes left. With 2:06 left in the quarter, Meghan Corridoni(Exeter, Pa./Holy Redeemer) was able to knot the game at 32 with a layup, before Derr put her team ahead by two less than a minute later. With 33 seconds left, Montana got the ball close to the bucket and was able to get space to shoot and tied the game at 34. In the final seconds of the quarter, Derr was fouled on a made bucket, and missed the back end of the three-point play to send the game to the final quarter.

Derr went right back to the free throw line at the start of the fourth quarter, knocking down two free throws. Montana got the Huskies back within two with a layup on the next possession, before Sneidman knotted the game at 38 just over two minutes into the quarter. A layup from Brown and a jumper from Ferguson ultimately kick started the Golden Bear offense, and helped the home team pull away in the game. Kutztown led by as many as nine in the final frame en route to the win.

As a team, the Huskies shot 36.0 percent (18-50) from the floor, 30.0 percent from downtown (3-10) and just 37.5 percent from the free throw line (6-16). Saxton led Bloomsburg with 12 points in the game, and Montana was the other Husky in double figures with 11. Five other Huskies scored in the contest. The Huskies lost a tight rebounding battle 38-36, while winning on the defensive glass 27-26. Montana pulled down a team-high eight rebounds on the night, including six on the defensive glass. Corridoni and Marianna Maldonado (Stroudsburg, Pa./Pocono Mountain East)each tied career-high marks with two assists apiece, while Sneidman tied a career-high with two three-pointers. Montana's 32 minutes on the night were a team-high and also a career high.

The loss moves the Huskies to 5-8 overall and 2-5 in the PSAC, while Kutztown improves to 8-5 and 3-4 in league play.

Bloomsburg returns home to the friendly confines of the Nelson Field House on Saturday (Jan. 6) when they welcome Cheyney for an eastern division showdown. Tip-off is slated for 3:00 p.m.

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