The West Chester University women’s basketball team saw their run through the PSAC playoffs come to an end Friday night, as they were beaten in the semifinals by Edinboro, 74-58.
Edinboro, ranked No. 5 in the entire country for Division II women’s basketball, came into the tournament as the top seed and they didn’t disappoint against the Lady Golden Rams. They took control of the game from the beginning and West Chester could not get back into it throughout the rest of the contest.
Junior forward Alex Lennon, senior guard Allison Hostetter, and junior center Ambreelinne Ortman all scored 10 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to top Edinboro, who came into the PSAC postseason tournament as heavy favorites. Hostetter wasn’t particularly impressive, though, shooting only 2-for-12 from the field and turning the ball over six times.
Meanwhile, Raven Metz poured in 23 points for Edinboro and grabbed eight rebounds. Samantha Blazetic scored 14 points and secured 11 rebounds for a double-double. Darche Jackson chipped in with 13 points off the bench for Edinboro.
While Edinboro is almost certainly headed now to the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament, West Chester will have to wait to see if they are selected. The top eight-ranked teams from the Division II Atlantic Region earn a spot in the tournament, and West Chester is currently ranked seventh. However, three conferences (WVIAC, PSAC, and CIAA) gain an automatic berth in the tournament, and it is unknown if West Chester’s ranking will suffer from the loss Friday to Edinboro.
On Tuesday, West Chester had advanced to the conference semifinals by taking down rivals Millersville, 64-57, in a conference quarterfinal matchup at Hollinger Field House.
West Chester dominated throughout a large portion of the game, even leading by 23 points five minutes into the second half. But Millersville made quite a run to get back into the game, pulling within five points (62-57) with a minute to go. West Chester held on, though, adding two points back to the lead and not allowing Millersville to score a single point more.
Throughout that stretch, Millersville managed to keep West Chester scoreless for a seven-minute period.
“I knew they would make a run,” said West Chester coach Deirdre Kane. “They always do. These games always go down to the wire.”
“You are always a little nervous,” said senior guard Allison Hostetter about almost blowing a 23-point lead. “We just had to stay composed and run our offense. The clock was our friend. We just weren’t executing at the offensive end.”
By holding on to a win over Millersville and advancing to a conference semifinal matchup against Edinboro, West Chester gave themselves a lot of help in the race to gain a berth in the NCAA Tournament. While they ended up losing to Edinboro, it may not matter in the end, since Edinboro is so highly ranked to begin with.
Had West Chester lost to Millersville, the Lady Golden Rams would likely have lost any hopes of going to the big dance. Any spot that would have gone to West Chester would have belonged to Millersville. But that didn’t happen, and when the selection show takes place at 10 p.m. on Sunday night, West Chester has a great chance of being selected. The results of the selection show will be posted on the athletic website.
Joey Samuel is a third-year student majoring in political science and Spanish. He can be reached at JS719745@wcupa.edu.