By Ronald Hanaki
Junior forward Allison Howard tied her career-high with 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season, but it would not be enough as the Warriors fell 77-75 to the Kutztown University Golden Bears at Keystone Arena last Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Rebecca Rutkowski had 18 points and six rebounds, and junior guard Rachel Falkowski tied her career-high with 14 points and seven rebounds.
This game was Kutztown’s annual “Play 4Kay” game, which is an initiative against women’s cancer named in honor of former North Carolina State head basketball coach Kay Yow.
It was a closely contested game in which the Warriors would lead for the majority. ESU led Kutztown 44-39 at halftime, but the Golden Bears outscored the Warriors 20-12 in the third quarter to take a 59-56 lead into the fourth quarter.
During some points in the game, ESU head coach Diane Decker was visibly frustrated with some of her team’s play.
ESU played from behind for most of the fourth quarter until Falkowski’s layup with 1:19 to go tied the score at 73.
Kutztown regained the lead with senior guard and team captain Natalya Lee’s jumper, and junior forward Kelsey Watson made her free throws to seal the win and keep Kutztown’s flickering postseason PSAC Tournament hopes alive.
Kutztown’s Lee was solid down the stretch. Every time Kutztown needed to score to keep pace with ESU, Lee was there with a clutch basket.
The Skittles-lover had a great all-around game with 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds for a near triple-double.
Kutztown’s Watson dropped 21 points to lead all scorers and grabbed nine rebounds.
The team statistics show that ESU had a 16-12 advantage over Kutztown in second chance points.
However, Kutztown scored 15 points off turnovers compared to only 10 points off turnovers for ESU.
The other significant advantage for Kutztown was points in the paint. The Golden Bears outscored the Warriors 36-18 in the paint.
Despite the loss, ESU (11-12, 9-10) remains in fifth place in the PSAC East. The top six teams in the PSAC East will play in the postseason PSAC Tournament beginning at the end of this month.
ESU’s next game is against Lock Haven at home in front of the Koehler Krazies. Lock Haven is currently in sixth place and only one game behind ESU in the PSAC East.
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