Thursday, February 1, 2018

Huskies Women's Basketball Knocks off Kutztown for Pivotal PSAC Win at Home Wednesday Night

(Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information)
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University women's basketball team snapped a gnarly losing streak at home on Wednesday (Jan. 31) and gutted out a 68-60 victory over division rival Kutztown in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action.
The two teams started off slow in the first quarter, with Kutztown holding a slim 14-13 lead after the opening 10 minutes. The first basket was scored almost two and a half minutes in on an old-fashioned three-point play by Karen Lapkiewicz, who sunk the free throw to put KU up 3-0. Emma Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) would counter with an and-one of her own several possessions later, and knock down the foul shot to tie the game. Keifonnna Ferguson split a pair of free throws, before Taylor Montana (Berwick, Pa./Berwick) got in on the scoring to put Bloomsburg up 5-4. Coming out of the media timeout, it would be another minute and change of scoreless basketball before Ferguson scored a layup and Montana split a pair at the line to leave the game tied at six. Alyssa Mack (Walnutport, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) would put Bloomsburg up by three with a triple, before Kalee Fuegel would collect an offensive board and score a layup on a second effort to get Kutztown within one. A jumper from Montana just before the two-minute mark got BU's lead back to three, before Zoe Zerman would score a second-chance layup to make it a one-point game with 1:41 to play in the opening quarter. A layup from Ferguson got Kutztown up 12-11 just 20 seconds later, before Montana sunk a pair at the free throw line to give BU a 13-12 lead with 41 seconds to play. The last bucket of the opening frame was a layup by Alexis Smith on an assist from Fuegel.

Bloomsburg's offense would explode in the second quarter, with the help of a 17-2 run that stretched over 6:21 of the quarter to leave the Huskies up 30-16. Back-to-back buckets from Lauren Oeth (Doylestown, Pa./Germantown Academy) began the run, before Meghan Corridoni (Exeter, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and Kaila Brown would trade jumpers to leave Bloomsburg up 19-16. A layup from Megan Brandt (Lebanon, Pa./Northern Lebanon) and another long ball from Mack stretched the Bloomsburg lead to eight with 5:38 to play in the quarter and forced a Kutztown timeout. Out of the break, Mack stretched the lead into double-digits with a jumper, a layup from Montana got the lead to 12 with 4:18 to play in the half. Mack would polish off the run with a clean pair from the charity stripe, before Lapkiewicz finally broke the cold spell with a layup with 3:39 left in the half. A jumper by Zerman with three minutes left got the KU deficit back to 10, before Lapkiewicz trimmed it to eight with a pair at the foul line. Brandt edged it back up to 10 with a layup and made it 33-22 by completing the three-point play. Lapkiewicz, Marissa Molnar (Erie, Pa./McDowell) and Brown would all exchange buckets leaving Bloomsburg up 35-26 with one minute to play in the half. The final bucket of the half came on a layup by Rylee Derr with 21 seconds left, and Bloomsburg would take a 35-28 lead to the half. This marked the seventh time this season the Huskies led at the break.

Kutztown would trim their deficit in the third quarter, out-scoring BU 15-10 in the frame. Jumpers from Ferguson and Taylor Thames would start the third, getting Kutztown back within one possession. Corridoni scored a layup to get the game back to five, before a layup from Ferguson got it back down to three. Kutztown was inching closer, and got the game within one with two good free throws from Lapkiewicz. Those were off-set by a jumper from Corridoni, before a Montana layup put BU back up by five a little past the halfway mark of the quarter. After another layup from Ferguson, the teams went to the media timeout separated by three points at 41-38. Out of the break, Ferguson completed the three-point play, before Zerman tied the game at 41 with a jumper with 4:10 to play in the quarter. After 2:37 of no scoring, Fuegel found Brown open underneath for a layup to put Kutztown up 43-41. Oeth would score another bucket to tie the game for the fifth time, before giving Bloomsburg the lead on the final bucket of the quarter. Bloomsburg led going into the fourth quarter for just the fifth time all season.

The Huskies would out-score the Golden Bears 23-17 in the final frame to secure the home win. Kutztown would get within two with 5:19 to play, but Bloomsburg would keep the Golden Bears at bay for the final 10 minutes. BU led by single digits for all but seven seconds of the fourth quarter. A layup from Oeth got the scoring started a minute and a half in, before Smith split a pair of free throws to get the game down to one possession. A layup from Montana and one good free throw got Bloomsburg up 50-44 2:45 into the final frame, before Lapkiewicz got her team's deficit back down to four with two free throws just over four minutes in. Gabbi Wright would get in on the scoring on Kutztown's next possession, making two free throws to trim the lead to two with 5:19 to play. From there, Bloomsburg clamped down defensively and did not allow Kutztown within less than four points for the final five minutes and chance of the quarter.

As a team, Bloomsburg shot 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field, 28.6 percent (2-7) from long range and a season-high 85.7 percent (18-21) from the free throw line. Bloomsburg scored 30 points in the paint, 13 off turnovers, 12 off second chances and two off the fast-break. Bloomsburg's bench out-scored their KU counterparts 47-20 in the victory. Three Huskies poured in double-figure points in the win, led by a game-high 21 from Mack. Her performance was aided by a career-high nine free throws on the night, while while she shot 5-10 from the field and made two of her three long balls. Montana completed the double-double effort with 16 points and 13 rebounds, going 6-10 from the field and 4-6 from the charity stripe. Her 13 rebounds tied a career-high, which she set back on Nov. 21, 2017 versus Holy Family. Five other Huskies scored in the win. BU won the battle on the boards 39-30, including a 28-20 margin on the defensive glass.

The win moves the Huskies to 7-15 and 4-12 in the PSAC, while Kutztown is now 12-9 and 7-8 in league play.

The Huskies are back at home this Saturday (Feb. 3) when they host Lock Haven for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Tip-off for that contest is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Nelson Field House. 

Other Williamsport OnLine Websites