By Ronald Hanaki
On February 28, ESU’s women’s basketball team lost to the Shippensburg Raiders, 83-60, in the PSAC Tournament’s first round game at Heiges Field House in Shippensburg.
The loss to Kutztown on February 25 made the Warriors the number six seed and sent them on the road to play third-seeded Shippensburg. This game was going to be difficult for the Warriors because ESU hasn’t won at Shippensburg since 1987.
ESU senior forward Jessica Martin gave it her all. She scored 20 points to lead all scorers and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Playing in her last game, senior forward Kelsey Murray had a big game, scoring 9 points and tying her personal best with 7 rebounds.
Redshirt senior guard Andrea Veres had 7 points and 2 assists, and junior guard Helena Gemmell and sophomore forward Madison Tamburini contributed 6 points apiece.
All that was not enough to overcome Shippensburg’s prodigious offense. The Raiders had four players who scored in double figures and never trailed in the game.
Shippensburg sophomore guard Haley Scullion came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 10 rebounds to notch her first double-double of her career.
Shippensburg’s backcourt duo of Lauren Gold and Colleen Young both had 13 points, and sophomore forward Morgan Griffith had 10 points to round out Shippensburg’s balanced scoring.
Griffith’s 3-point basket to open the game set the tone for the Raiders as they led the game wire to wire. The score was 42-23 Shippensburg at halftime. The Warriors would play a spirited game in the second half.
ESU scored the first 8 points in the second half to cut Ship’s lead to 11, but that would be as close as the Warriors would get.
Ship’s Griffith would nail another 3-pointer, and junior forward Stephanie Knauer would score on a layup on Ship’s ensuing possession as the Raiders would pull away from the Warriors again in the second half.
ESU sophomore forward Allison Howard would start and play 10 minutes before having to leave the game with an injury. She did not return to the game.
Warrior senior guard Ryann Fiascki did not suit up for the game because of an injury she sustained in a game against Kutztown on February 25.
The key to the win for Shippensburg was their shooting. Ship held the edge over ESU 45.9% to 39.1% in field goal shooting percentage.
The Raiders also shot 22-26 from the free throw line. Ship’s Lauren Gold alone shot 11-12 from the charity stripe.
Comparatively, ESU as a team went 3-12 from the foul line.
For ESU seniors Martin, Fiascki, Veres, and Murray, this was their last game. Jessica Martin finishes her career at ESU eighth in total points scored (1,213), first in blocked shots (274), and fourth in rebounds (848).
Ryann Fiascki is ESU’s most accurate free throw shooter with an 81.0% free throw shooting percentage. Andrea Veres is second at 80.6%.
Veres is ESU’s career leader in number of games played with 112. She is also tenth in career assists (235) and second in career 3’s (156).
Including the postseason, Coach Lynn Ramage is 6-7 since being named the interim head coach on January 12.
This was the third straight PSAC Tournament appearance for the Warriors, who finished the season with an overall record of 11-16. The Warriors were 10-12 in PSAC conference play.
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