By Francis Abbamonte
Last Thursday, the ESU Women’s Basketball team defeated the Lock Haven University Bald Eagles 76-68 at Koehler Fieldhouse. They now have won four straight games.
This game was originally scheduled for last Wednesday. But due to inclement weather, the game was postponed for one day.
Earlier this season, ESU faced the Bald Eagles at Lock Haven where the Warriors won comfortably 91-60.
ESU started off this game with good ball movement and was able to find the open player in Head Coach Diane Decker’s highly technical motion offense.
Freshmen center Marlene Bassett and junior guard Ann McKnight were a factor early in the first quarter. Bassett attacked the paint early while McKnight played good defense and forced turnovers. On offense, McKnight hit back-to-back threes in the first quarter.
Lock Haven’s offense started out slow and turned the ball over often in the first quarter. But they were still in the game and only down 20-13 after the first quarter.
ESU made it difficult inside the paint whenever Haven tried to score inside. But every time the Warriors looked to pull away, the Bald Eagles countered.
The Bald Eagles scored back-to-back buckets late in the second quarter and got into the bonus with 2:28 remaining in the half.
But Bassett couldn’t be stopped and continued to have a strong first half. ESU headed into halftime with a 40-30 lead.
Haven came into the second half running after scoring on their first two possessions, but Bassett had the answer and continued to make back-to-back buckets for ESU.
Junior guard Noelle Powell and sophomore Tiffany Lapotsky made an impact for the Warriors in the third quarter. Lapotsky made layups in the paint, while Powell hit threes from downtown.
ESU kept moving the ball and finding the open player and began to pull away with a score of 55-37.
At the other end of the court, ESU’s ball-hawking defense confounded Lock Haven whenever the Bald Eagles tried to inbound the ball.
Then Powell hit a step-back three giving the Warriors their biggest lead of the night.
ESU scored 23 points in the third quarter alone while the Bald Eagles were held to only 10 points. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Warriors led 63-40.
Yet the Bald Eagles were down and not out and continued to attack the paint early.
ESU’s offense became stagnant, and Lock Haven began to take advantage of its opportunities to get back into the game.
Haven put full court pressure on ESU late in the fourth quarter. Both teams were in the penalty with 2:55 left in the game.
Even though time was running out, Haven cut the lead to six points after Lock Haven senior guard Kayla Henderson hit back-to-back threes with 38.9 seconds remaining in the game.
ESU called a timeout to advance the ball on a crucial possession. Decker decided not to take any chances and reinserted her starters to close out the game.
Lock Haven didn’t give up and made it a close game until the end. The Bald Eagles continued to play the foul game and hoped for the Warriors to miss some of their free throws with the clock stopped.
But the Warriors kept their composure and prevented the Bald Eagles’ comeback.
ESU’s leading scorer was Bassett, who finished with a career-high 24 points, Lapotsky had 16 points, and Powell scored 15 points.
Last Monday, ESU defeated Cheyney 58-47 at Cope Hall for its fifth straight victory.
The Warriors (16-6, 14-4), will host PSAC East-leading West Chester (19-4, 16-3) this Saturday afternoon in front of the Koehler Krazies at ESU.
Email Frankie at: