A small, boisterous crowd gathered last Wednesday, Feb. 6, to watch ESU’s women’s basketball team take on Shippensburg University at Koehler Fieldhouse.
Entering the match-up, the Warriors sat one game behind Shippensburg, ranking 7thin the PSAC East conference. After a tough loss to Millersville University the week before, the girls now holds a record of 5-8 in conference play and 8-12 overall.
The ESU band put on an enjoyable performance that sparked young girls in the crowd to dance along. This lively crowd was fitting due to it being National Women and Girls in Sports day. Starters, Jordan Hertz, Tiffany Lapotsky, Abby Schoffstall, Kaitlyn Swint, and Dominique Rayam, got the game going for the Warriors, scoring eight out of the first ten points. However, by the second quarter, the girls were trailing 18-20.
Sophomore Marlene Bassett, was out injured due to a concussion, which gave freshmen, Maggie Wigoda, an opportunity to perform in her place. Nevertheless, Bassett’s experience, composure, and height were missed on the court.
Shippensburg dominated as they were just able to reach the ball easier and quicker due to their length at all five positions.
The Warriors worked hard to find a way around this, moving the ball quickly from player to player to catch the Raiders defense off-guard, but this proved fruitless.
Officiating also played a significant role in the contest, as play was even stopped at one point in the first half for a television monitor review. Shippensburg players noticed that officiating seemed to be swaying in their favor and capitalized on it, taunting the Warriors.
ESU head coach Diane Decker, assistant coach Marla Simmons, and graduate assistant Nina Mazzarelli looked frustrated at the calls. Heading into the half, the Warriors were down five points.
The third quarter became a very back and forth game with neither team able to score consistently. It was a repeat of the first half as ESU produced scoring opportunities and maintained possession.
However, they were not able to convert on shot opportunities, regardless of where they appeared on the floor, and there were little second chance opportunities.
Shippensburg players Ariel Jones and Aunbrielle Green, had strong performances, helping the Raiders take a convincing lead over the Warriors. The Warriors came out in the fourth quarter looking for a comeback.
They forced Shippensburg into 27 turnovers and recorded 17 steals yet the lead Shippensburg had created was just too big. ESU fell 88-63 by the time the siren sounded.
Their next game after a win at home against Mansfield on Saturday, Feb. 9, 73-46, is on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6 pm versus Bloomsburg at Koehler Fieldhouse.
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