Fresh off a roller coaster loss the previous day against Edinboro – a game that saw the West Chester University women’s basketball team rally from a 21 point deficit late in the second half only to lose 81-74 in overtime – the Golden Rams needed to bounce back against an improved Lock Haven.
“We wanted to take it out on [Lock Haven],” junior guard Allison Hostetter said of the Golden Rams’ 75-60 victory over the Bald Eagles at Hollinger Field House on Sunday afternoon. West Chester improved to 9-3 on the season, while Lock Haven fell to 8-3.
The first half was a fast-paced, back and forth affair, as the lead changed hands seven times during the first seven minutes of the contest. The Haven, however, started to gain momentum, when Sharay Hall hit a jumper as she was fouled with 13:01 left in the first half to give Lock Haven a 14-13 lead.
Lock Haven held on to the lead through most of the half, although the lead was never more than five points. West Chester retook the lead with 4:24 left in the half after Carly Strickland converted a three-point play to make it 27-25.
The Eagles hung on in the final four minutes of the half, as the two teams traded baskets to close out the first half. The game was tied at 31-31 as the teams went to the locker room for halftime.
One of the reasons the first half went so quickly was the lack of fouls called. Lock Haven was called for only four fouls in the half; West Chester was whistled for three.
“Lock Haven is a much improved team,” West Chester head coach Deirdre Kane said of the Bald Eagles. “I was impressed with their effort.”
The Rams came out roaring in the second half, scoring the first seven points of the half to take a 38-31 lead three minutes into the half. The Haven narrowed the lead to 41-40 after Mahogany Spence drained a three with 14:51 left in regulation.
Mary Kate Serratelli, however, killed any remaining Lock Haven momentum after hitting one of two foul shots, then following that up with a layup with 13:11 left in regulation that allowed the Rams to outscore the Eagles 34-20 the rest of the way.
The pace quickened as the half progressed, as the two teams went nearly three minutes between stoppages.
“That’s the kind of game we like,” junior guard Allison Hostetter said. “They’re tough to play against, and their defense is similar to [division rival] Millersville.”
Also playing a key role in the second half run was reserve forward Carly Strickland, who scored six of her career high 13 points in the game’s final ten minutes. Strickland, a sophomore from Shamong, N.J., was one of four Rams to finish with double digits in points.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid,” Kane said of Strickland. “I’m very pleased with her progress.”
“It’s given me more confidence on the court,” Strickland said of her increased playing time.
Allison Hostetter led the Rams with 15 points and 11 rebounds, Alex Lennon added 14 points and 9 rebounds in just missing a double-double, and Megan Stewart added 13 points and 7 assists.
Lock Haven was led by Daugherty, who finished with a game-high 18 points; Kristen Kudrick added 16 points off the bench for the Eagles.
West Chester begins conference play tonight, weather permitting, at Mansfield before returning home for a game against East Stroudsburg.
NOTES:West Chester co-captain Megan Stewart hit three milestones over the weekend. In Saturday’s loss to Edinboro, the senior from York registered her 400th career assist and scored her 900th career point. In Sunday’s game against Lock Haven, Stewart set the career record for steals with 284 steals. … Former Pennsylvania State Representative Art Hershey, who represented the western and southern townships of Chester County for many years, was in attendance at the game. Rep. Hershey’s granddaughter, Kacie Hershey, is a sophomore starting guard for Lock Haven; she finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Creighton Rabs covers West Chester University athletics for glowbass.com, and is neither affiliated with nor employed by West Chester University. Feedback can be emailed to [email protected].