The West Chester women’s basketball team continued their impressive start to the season Saturday afternoon, routing Clarion, 102-68, at Hollinger Field House.
The win preserved the Golden Rams’ undefeated start to the season, and took their record to 5-0. Saturday’s win came over a PSAC foe in Clarion, stretching West Chester’s conference record to 3-0.
Saturday’s result wasn’t in doubt for very long. In fact, West Chester was already up 61-32 at halftime over Clarion, whose record fell to 1-3 overall. Allison Hostetter, once again, was an imposing force for the Golden Rams. In addition to her team-leading 19 points, she recorded six assists, six rebounds, and six steals.
Ambreelinne Ortman led the team in rebounds with eight, and she added 17 points of her own. In what was one of the best all-around team performances in school history, 13 of West Chester’s 14 players scored, and four finished in double figures.
West Chester’s 102 total points scored represented the 10th time in school history that the women’s basketball team had exceeded 100. It was also the most points scored since the 2000-01 season and the first time since 1999 that the Golden Rams had hit the century mark in a regulation game.
Junior forward Alex Lennon, one of the team’s top contributors throughout her whole career, missed much of the game. She rolled her ankle before the game and played only 14 minutes. Her return was probable for Sunday’s game against Gannon.
West Chester’s massive lead was built steadily, and the team did not let up on Clarion throughout the entire game. The Golden Rams got off more shots, and still converted a higher possession of them than their opponents.
West Chester’s 37-for-77 from the field compared to Clarion’s 22-for-64 was a huge factor in the result. In addition, West Chester forced Clarion into coughing up an astonishing 32 turnovers, compared to the 18 that West Chester gave up.
With the blowout win, West Chester remained in first place in the PSAC East heading into another conference home game on Sunday against Gannon. That game took place too late to make it into this issue, but the result can be found on the university’s athletic website.
Earlier in the week, West Chester traveled to Philadelphia to take on Holy Family in their second away game of the season and once again earned an impressive win, defeating their opponents 84-70.
Hostetter led the way in that game as well, posting an outstanding 24 points to lead her team in scoring. She also added six rebounds.
Lennon, meanwhile, went an impressive 7-for-10 from the field. She scored 15 points and added six rebounds of her own. Her defensive work was astonishing, blocking four shots and recording three steals. Jillian Keefer added 18 points, going 3-for-4 from three-point range.
Unlike in the game against Clarion, West Chester was not able to finish off Holy Family quickly. The Golden Rams led 37-35 at the half. It wasn’t until the second half that West Chester pulled away and won by 14 points, going on a 14-3 run over the final part of the half to seal the win.
West Chester took 68 shots from the free-throw line and made half of their attempts, which went a long way towards defeating Holy Family.
A new method of substitution being used by head coach Deirdre Kane worked well. “We went with the five-in and five-out substitution pattern once again,” Kane said. “And I think it really paid off down the stretch.”
Kane ended up using this pattern again against Clarion, and the result was a win by a 34-point margin.
The two wins over the past week leave West Chester as the only undefeated team in the East division of the PSAC at 5-0 overall and 3-0 in conference.
After the previously mentioned game against Gannon on Sunday, West Chester will have five days rest before another weekend duo of games, although this time they will be on the road. On Saturday, West Chester will travel to Edinboro for an early evening contest before they quickly make their way to Lock Haven for another game on Sunday.
Edinboro was picked before the season to win the PSAC West, so that game will be a real test for West Chester. Edinboro has started their season undefeated as well, going 4-0 overall and 3-0 in conference to start the season.
Joey Samuel is a third-year student majoring in political science and Spanish. He can be reached at JS719745@wcupa.edu.