WCU dropped both games this week, falling to 9-13 on the year and 9-9 in the PSACs. The losses have their losing streak up to three now, with their first home loss coming on Saturday.
The tough week began in an away match against a scrappy Cheyney University squad. The Wolves (4-16, 4-15 PSAC) bested the Golden Rams 58-54. The win marks the first time since the 2007-08 season that Cheyney has beaten WCU, snapping a 20-game losing streak.
WCU controlled the game until late in the third quarter when a three-pointer by Cheyney guard Taschell Phillips gave them a 36-35 lead. The Wolves never looked back as they kept their lead until the finish line. The primary contributor for Cheyney was junior guard Takayla Ellis, who flipped a switch in the second half, scoring 20 points—more than the entire team scored in the whole first half. Sophomore forward Marlon Herring also played a huge role, totaling 21 rebounds, a season high for her.
WCU struggled to improve off their first half. They ended with a similar point total to their first half, with 27 points each. The team had a poor shooting night with only a 30.6 percent total from the floor (19-62). There was a weak offensive output all around in a game the Rams felt was winnable after winning the earlier matchup this season 75-64.
The Golden Rams’ top performer was junior forward Madison Torresin, who returned after battling an illness that kept her out of the last game against Shippensburg. Torresin was the top scorer with 13 points, along with grabbing six boards in a long 37 minutes of work. She was joined in double digits by guard Porscha Speller and forward Jenna Widdicombe. The two women find themselves filling stat sheets on a regular basis, but they had fairly pedestrian numbers in the matchup. Five turnovers by Speller hurt the flow of the game for WCU, allowing Cheyney to continue chipping away until they gained a major foothold in the game.
After the loss, the Rams’ focus shifted to Saturday in the team’s annual “Play4Kay” game against East Stroudsburg. Along with the game, the day consisted of pink galore, including T-shirts, face paint and hair extensions. The packed stadium of 610 was there to cheer on the Golden Rams, but it wasn’t enough as they were overwhelmed by a strong East Stroudsburg team (15-7, 11-7 PSAC).
The game was a lost cause from the tip as ESU took control early on establishing a double-digit lead just a little over five minutes in. Junior guard Imani Brown starred scoring 29 points on the day, a career high for her. Brown found her range early and didn’t slow down from three-point range, going six of 11 from behind the arc. Senior forward Allison Howard also made her mark in the game, chipping in 15 points along with eight boards. Howard also passed an important milestone in the game by scoring the 1,200th point in her career.
The Rams made their best effort at a comeback in the second quarter, going on a 9-1 run. The deficit was cut to five as the Rams combined some timely scoring and strong defense to give them a breath of life. They held the Warriors to under double digits in a quarter for the first time this season since the two teams met earlier in January. The window for WCU closed quickly, though, as ESU came out of the break on fire, shooting over 50 percent from the field in the second half.
For WCU, Speller and fellow junior Camden Bohner were the only players to reach double digits in scoring. The loss continues a streak of poor shooting performances for WCU, as they are having difficulties on the offensive end. Their defeat also ends another winning streak of theirs, as they previously had won 11 straight over East Stroudsburg.
ESU has already clinched their place in the PSAC tournament as they hold strong in the second slot in the PSAC East. WCU, on the other hand, may find themselves in a dangerous place in the PSAC East standings if they continue to slide.
Ryan Hunt is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at RH803937@wcupa.edu.