West Chester was victorious against Kutztown on Wednesday night and advances to the semifinals in the PSAC tournament.
After ending the regular season going 22-4, the West Chester University woman’s basketball team was looking like strong contenders going into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament. The team showed up to play and beat Kutztown with the final score of 81-72 in their first game of the tournament.
Attending the game and being in the atmosphere of the stadium was thrilling. The student section was rowdy and was fired up cheering for the team. The fans should be fired up because the team came off the regular season with a 17-game win streak and was looking to make it 18 in a row.
In the first quarter of the game, the Rams started off looking strong and showed poise. Lexi Bruno hit back-to-back three-pointers to give West Chester an early lead. Following a Kutztown basket, West Chester went on a scoring rampage. Bruno came in big again with another three-pointer. West Chester showed their dominance during the quarter. West Chester ended the first quarter with an impressive lead of 23-10.
The second quarter was more of the same. West Chester was putting up multiple points, but Kutztown was retaliating. Later into the quarter, Katherine Fisher stepped up and put up several points. Fisher had back-to-back layups, followed by going two for three at the foul line. Gabrielle Troisi made a notable play at the end of the quarter with a crafty ball handling which resulted in a layup. The crowd roared with approval. Headed into halftime, West Chester was leading 44-22.
At the start of the third quarter, West Chester looked confident and went on a seven-point run. Kutztown was able to briefly change the momentum of the game with five steals within two minutes. Bruno changed the tide by hitting a three-pointer.
Destiny Jefferson contributed with three layups to enable West Chester to keep its lead. Throughout the rest of the quarter the teams traded baskets. West Chester held a 67-52 lead headed into the fourth quarter.
During the fourth quarter, both teams struggled to score. Kutztown started to cut into the lead as the quarter progressed. The game started to go Kutztown’s way while they were outscoring West Chester. The home crowd grew quiet as Kutztown chipped away at West Chester’s lead. However, West Chester was able to stem the tide by putting some points of their own. Near the end of the game West Chester was able to hold off Kutztown by hitting crucial foul shots. Even though Kutztown ended up outscoring West Chester 20-14 during the fourth quarter, West Chester’s early lead held up and the final score was 81-72.
Overall, West Chester was 26 for 61 (42.6 percent) from the field and was 9 for 19 (47.4 percent) from behind the three-point stripe. West Chester hit their free throws at a 69 percent clip (20 for 29). West Chester looked impressive. They played fantastically in the first half and the huge lead they had built allowed them to hold off Kutztown in the second half. If the Rams continue their strong play, they will be serious contenders for the title.
Ryan Bednash is a fourth-year student majoring in communications and minoring in journalism. ✉ RB842278@wcupa.edu.