The Golden Rams women’s basketball team fell in an 81-68 loss to their PSAC rival Bloomsburg. The loss allows East Stroudsburg to move into a tie for second in the race for the top spot in the PSACs. West Chester (9-11, 9-7 PSAC) now finds themselves searching for answers, as they have lost two of their last three, alongside a three-game losing streak. If they want to have any hopes of catching up to top-ranked Shippensburg, they will have to show up on the road.
The two teams kept things close in the beginning with nine lead changes in the first. But a late three by the Huskies as the quarter ended gave them a lead they would not relinquish. Bloomsburg’s sophomore guard Alyssa Mack led the pack with a strong 20-point performance from off the bench. Mack’s performance made a major difference as she was able to outscore the entire bench for the Golden Rams.
It was more than just the depth of the Huskies that led to loss for WCU. They also struggled to muster up any second chance points, while allowing Bloomsburg more than one opportunity to score points, holding a 17-12 advantage. The Golden Rams also struggled to capitalize on the opportunities given to them to take a late lead. They were able to tie the game up twice in the second half, but they couldn’t use that momentum to swing the game in their favor.
One of their best chances to take the lead came in the fourth quarter. With seven and a half minutes remaining, the ladies were within one shot of taking the lead, trailing 60-59. Jenna Widdicome, a redshirt freshman forward, found herself with multiple clutch baskets in the quarter to keep the Rams alive. However, Mack and company put their foot on the gas and didn’t let up, leaving West Chester in the dust. Bloomsburg ended the game with their largest lead of the showdown at 13 points.
It wasn’t all bad for West Chester, as they still had a few things to build off of in the loss, as well as some good performances from their upperclassmen. Junior guard Porscha Speller had yet another sound performance, scoring 18 points while adding seven rebounds. She continued to flaunt her pickpocketing skill, as she tallied three steals on the evening. West Chester also had three other players scoring in double digits. Tori Smick, a senior out of New Jersey, scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds, just barely missing out on her fourth double-double of the season.
West Chester was without the services of Madison Torresin this game due to illness and that made an impact on a team, as they were forced to try and replace one of their key starters.
The Lady Rams will have some time to take a breather and work out some of the issues during their week-long break before traveling to Cheyney University on Wednesday, Feb. 8. They hope to put an end to their woes and put themselves back on track towards the top spot in the PSAC East.
They will finish their week off back in the friendly confines of Hollinger Field House for their annual Play4Kay game against East Stroudsburg. It will be one their most important games of the season.
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.