The Golden Rams’ women’s basketball team is in one the best stretches of basketball that one can remember.
This past week they dismantled Kutztown by 37 points and followed it up with a decisive victory over the number one team in the PSAC East, Shippensburg.
Those two victories added to their win streak, which is now up to seven games.
This unit has worked together for four years now, and their chemistry is really showing in the most important part of the season. With only six games remaining in the regular season, the Lady Rams look to continue on their impressive streak as they begin to look ahead towards the postseason.
The 92-55 victory over Kutztown on Wednesday, Jan. 27 was dominant from the opening tip-off. West Chester never trailed in the game. The Golden Rams had three players in double figures, including Madison Torresin, who had 12 points in 14 minutes off the bench.Brittany Sicinski and Dallas Ely also had 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Even with West Chester being so dominant on offense, the best part of their game is how they are able to get teams to turn the ball over, which leads to fast transition baskets on the other end.
West Chester forced 21 turnovers, which led to 23 transition points for the Golden Rams. Their relentless pursuit of the basketball in uncanny.
Some would say Kutztown was not a true test for West Chester. Those people were given a treat on Saturday, Jan. 30. when it was West Chester against Shippensburg.
Shippensburg came into the game in first place in the PSAC East standings, which was the mark West Chester had been chasing since the opening tip of the first game way back in Nov.
It was all on the line. The winner of this game inside Hollinger Field House would position themselves in first place for the final crucial stretch of the season.
The game was fast-paced from the start. But West Chester’s offense was really clicking for almost the entire game. The Golden Rams got out to a fast 18-9 lead with Sicinski dropping 1 1 of the first 18 points for the Golden Rams. But the Red Raiders fought back and before West Chester even realized, the score was 18-15. A quick regroup led by head coach Kiera Wooden had the Golden Rams closing out the first quarter strong and heading into the first break with a 22-18 lead.
But then as all good teams do, Shippensburg made a push. The response from West Chester was the make or break it point in the game and the true test to whether or not they could play with the best of the best in the postseason.
West Chester did not score for the first six minutes of the second quarter, and Shippensburg went on a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game. The score was 27-22 in favor of the Red Raiders, and West Chester was stuck in the mud. They were playing sloppy basketball against the best team in the conference. It would have been easy to hang their heads and throw in the towel. But they did not. Instead, they dug in and found a way to put the basketball through the net.West Chester closed out the second quarter on an 11-0 run, including a pivotal and one conversion from veteran Tiffany Johnson. The Golden Rams had responded to the pressure, took a six-point lead into the halftime break and never looked back.
West Chester did not trail again during the game. In the fourth quarter, Kendall Benovy scored 14 of West Chester’s 16 points to bury the former first place Shippensburg Raiders.
That is what is so compelling about these Golden Rams. They can turn to anyone of their starting five, and even some of their bench players, at any time. Some games it will be Sicinski, some days it will be Ely. But in Saturday’s ever so important clash, it was Benovy who came up big and helped seal the deal. Benovy finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
West Chester now sits in first place in the PSAC East standings with a record of 15-5 and a 12-4 confernce record. It is all about playing the best brand of your basketball at the right time of the season, which is a lot easier said than done. But right now the Golden Rams are doing just that.
They will be on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 3 against Bloomsburg at 5:30 p.m.
Ryan Calpin is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at RC784188@wcupa.edu.