Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Photo: Graduate student Jordan Kellier. Photo via wcupagoldenrams.com

Heading into their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) matchup against old rival Shippensburg University, the West Chester Golden Rams were sporting a 15-9 record with a successful 12-6 record in conference play. This currently has them ranked as a top four seed in the PSAC East, which could prove monumental as they would get to host a home playoff game in the first round of the PSAC Tournament if they maintain their seeding. Home court advantage is of the utmost importance when playing in high-stakes games like this one. You could also see the players get more amped up, with Rammy pacing up and down the court, joining in with the cheerleaders and the band blasting music with every stoppage in play. 

On the opposing bench, Shippensburg has been struggling this year as they came into this matchup with an overall record of 8-17 and a 4-15 record in conference play. While the Golden Rams were vying for home court advantage in the PSAC tournament, Shippensburg was trying to secure their place in the tournament. Needless to say, this matchup had massive tournament implications for both sides.  

The sheer talent disparity between these two conference rivals was evident right from the opening tip-off. It was a full team effort for the Golden Rams as they had five players score in the double digits. As a matter of fact, all twelve players who saw the court contributed at least two points.  

The hot hands of junior Robert Smith and graduate student Jordan Kellier paced the Golden Rams’ attack in the first half. Smith contributed a team high of 16 points in this timeframe, while Kellier had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the same span. This was his 14th double-double of the year, which is when a player records more than 10 in any two categories (in Kellier’s case, it was points and rebounds). By the end of the night, he had finished with impressive totals of 19 points and 16 rebounds on pristine nine-for-nine shooting from the field. Making this feat even more impressive, the 19 points was a career high for Kellier. Sophomore guard Luke Boyd also had a career high that night as he contributed 15 points of his own.  

This onslaught of offensive firepower led to the Golden Rams heading into the break up 55-24, amounting to a healthy 31-point lead. West Chester did not lift off the gas in the second half either, as they eventually stretched the lead to 43 for a final score of 102-59. This was a season high in points for the team, which seemed to be the theme of the night, and was only the second time all season that they eclipsed the 100-point mark.  

The Golden Rams play next at Mansfield University on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. in yet another PSAC matchup. This will be their third-to-last game of the regular season before the tournament commences.  

 


Colin Bradley is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism.CB953277@wcupa.edu

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