The West Chester women’s basketball team (9-10 Overall, 9-6 PSAC) continued their recent home success on Saturday, Jan. 28 with an 82-72 victory over visiting Mansfield University. Many former Rams came to watch the team’s win, as it was Alumni Day at Hollinger Field House.
WCU withstood a stellar performance by Mansfield junior forward Brielle Kelly, who lit the Rams up for 27 points. West Chester countered with some standout performances by a pair of Rams.
Junior guard Camden Boehner scored 22 points on the day, a season high for her, while also collecting five rebounds and feeding her teammates for four assists. She was joined in the scoring party by senior forward Tori Smick, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the week.
West Chester continued their dominance in the paint, outscoring the Mounties in that area by a 40-12 margin. The Rams seem to be finding their identity the more the year has gone on, establishing themselves inside with their strong play down low. They also did a great job closing out the game as they were a perfect 11-11 from the free throw line in the second half, taking advantage of the easy opportunities.
The Rams began their week with a special Purple Zone for Kids Day during their matchup with Lock Haven on Saturday, Jan. 21. They were able to start their week strong with a commanding 69-55 victory over their PSAC opponent, striking the first blow in the first of two meetings this season with the Eagles.
Junior guard Porscha Speller was the spearhead of the Golden Rams’ success as she made her impact at both ends of the court. She scored 14 points, had five assists, nabbed seven rebounds and was a thief all day, stealing the ball eight times.
Speller’s stellar defensive performance helped WCU keep Lock Haven under lock and key for much of the game, especially in the third quarter, where the team held LHU to only five points. This allowed the Rams to pull away, combined with a 9-0 run in the fourth.
The front court for West Chester was dominant in the game as well, as the points in the paint advantage was 14 with nearly half of the Golden Rams points coming from the painted area.
Smick led the way for the Golden Rams on the glass for the day, totaling 11 points while grabbing the same number of rebounds for a double-double. The New Jersey native is second on the team in rebounds per game, trailing only Madison Torresin, who grabbed nine rebounds while tying Speller at 14 points.
The one blemish on a good week for the ladies came at Kutztown University on Wednesday night as they fell in a close one to their Golden rivals by a score of 72-70.
The Golden Rams fell victim to a shooting slump in the second half, managing only 17 points after scoring 53 in the first half, giving them a comfortable 53-41 lead going into the break.
Sophomore guard Alexis Anderson played a huge role in the Ram’s strong start, scoring 25 points just in the first half, a career high for the Allentown native. However, she, like many of her teammates, couldn’t muster up any offense in the second stanza.
The fourth quarter was the worst of them all, with West Chester managing to make only one field goal coming from Redshirt freshman guard Rylee Power. Power, a two-sport athlete who also plays for the Rams’ tennis team, couldn’t be the team’s ace in the hole, as the Rams were silent the rest of the quarter. Kutztown’s Sierra Taylor made the game-winning shot with 12 seconds left to win the game for the Golden Bears. West Chester had one last attempt for the win, but junior guard Speller missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer to snap a three-game winning streak for WCU.
West Chester has a slow week coming up with just one away game this week on Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Golden Rams will face PSAC opponent Bloomsburg at Nelson Field House. The Golden Rams won the previous contest at home 81-67 and will be looking for similar results as the last one. The game holds significant importance for the Rams as they look to remain near the top of the PSAC East standings as they try to keep pace with Shippensburg.
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.