As the season comes to a close, every victory is vital for playoff positioning.
Today, the Shippensburg University women’s basketball team kept pace with Millersville University and Bloomsburg University, and is now clutching tightly onto the third place position in the PSAC East after its 67–47 thrashing of East Stroudsburg University on Saturday at Heiges Field House.
Facing a must-win situation as they close out last part of their season, the Raiders received momentous contributions from freshman sensation Stephanie Knauer and junior guard Sarah Strybuc.
“We worked really hard today,” Strybuc said. “I shot well and that’s all I could ask for.”
Knauer recorded her 10th double-double for the Raiders, notching 22 points and 14 rebounds — 13 of those points coming in the second half.
Strybuc scorched the Warriors beyond the arc, converting 4-of-7 from three-point range, as she finished the game with 14 points in the team’s annual Play 4 Kay event — an even designed to raise cancer awareness.
“It’s great [to play for the cause] because everyone has been affected by cancer,” Strybuc said. “It’s great to come out here and raise money for it.”
Strybuc was not the only one who shot well from the floor. The Raiders led a torrid scoring charge in the first half, converting on 80 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, to race to a 35–19 advantage heading into the half. Strybuc gashed the Warriors for 11 points in the half, including three of the team’s four 3-pointers.
The second half spelled out much of the same for the Raiders. Already up by 16 after the break, Knauer and Strybuc facilitated an 18–6 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half, culminating with a 3-pointer by freshman Alex Gildea. With their margin at a game-high 26 points, the Raiders cruised to victory, ultimately recording the 20–point victory.
Jessica Martin recorded double-double for the Warriors as she led the team in both rebounds (10) and points (13).
Strybuc missed a double-double by one assist, finishing with nine on the day.
With MU and BU recording victories on Saturday, the Raiders remain in the third spot in the PSAC East. They head to West Chester University for a No.3 vs. No.5 showdown.
“It’s a crucial game for us,” Knauer said.
“The destiny is in our hands,” head coach Kristy Trn said. “We need to take everything one game at a time and prepare for the dogfight when we get there [West Chester].”