In front of a packed crowd on Senior Day, the West Chester University women’s basketball team thoroughly dominated their opponents in a 78-54 win on Saturday afternoon.
It was an all-around impressive victory for the Lady Golden Rams. Twelve different players got on the scoresheet, led by senior guard Allison Hostetter, who contributed with 13 points as well as 11 rebounds and three assists.
Junior forward Alex Lennon chipped in with 11 points of her own, and an impressive 14 rebounds as well.
On the other hand, East Stroudsburg only scored through eight different players, led by Barb Borst with 14 points.
West Chester dominated throughout. The score was already 48-26 by halftime, and the Lady Golden Rams stretched that lead by two more points in the second half. Towards the end of the game, East Stroudsburg did manage to make a small run, even going on a 9-0 run at one point. But it was not even close to enough.
With the win, West Chester remained in a strong second place in the PSAC East, but they still trailed Bloomsburg by two games. After losing to Bloomsburg last Saturday, each team has won all of their games since then, and now West Chester is left with little chance of regaining first place before the playoffs.
Meanwhile, East Stroudsburg was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss, and Shippensburg became the fourth and last team to make the postseason from the PSAC East. The four teams representing the division will be Bloomsburg, West Chester, Millersville, and Shippensburg, but the only thing that is secure is that Shippensburg will be the fourth seed; the rest is yet to be determined.
The game was preceded by the annual Play4Kay festivities, which benefited the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Fans were encouraged to wear pink to the game, which gave them the opportunity to win prizes throughout the day.
On Wednesday, West Chester had solidified its playoff positioning by beating Shippensburg, 85-67, in another highly impressive performance, this one on the road. Lennon and Hostetter were impressive as usual in that game, contributing 20 and 15 points respectively, while starting center Ambreelinne Ortman added 15 points of her own.
For now, the most important objective left for the Lady Golden Rams is to win the final two games of the regular season, which will take place this week. On Wednesday night, West Chester will host rival Cheyney, a winless 0-24 on the season, in the regular season home finale. Then they will wrap up the regular season on the road on Saturday afternoon, as they face Mansfield.
If West Chester wins those two games, they will have locked up at least second place in the PSAC East, which is important, because it means hosting a first-round game in the playoffs. Falling to third place would mean having to play on the road in the first round.
The playoffs begin with the PSAC Tournament on Feb. 28. It lasts three rounds and includes the top four teams from each of the divisions of the PSAC. If West Chester can find success in that tournament, they can be selected to take part in the Division II NCAA Tournament in March. Edinboro, of the PSAC West, will be favored to win the conference, as they are currently 22-0 and are ranked second in the nation. West Chester is currently unranked.
Joey Samuel is a third-year student majoring in political science and Spanish. He can be reached at JS719745@wcupa.edu.