The Thanksgiving hangover was nonexistent for the Shippensburg University women’s basketball team, as it rebounded from a disappointing loss in its last outing against Jefferson University to claim an impressive 78–60 win over West Virginia Wesleyan College on Sunday night.
Although students were gradually arriving back to campus after the holiday break, a number of supporters came out to Heiges Field House to cheer on the Raiders in their non-conference matchup. SU outscored the Bobcats in every frame except the final one on the way to its second win of the season.
Sophomore Ariel Jones was exceptional, dropping a game-high 26 points and leading the squad to an eight-point lead going into the second quarter. Jones was all over the court and added five assists and five rebounds. She even had two blocks.
Her effort was complemented by freshman Aunbrielle Green’s first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The rebound mark was a new career-high. She was efficient, going 7–11 from the floor.
The Bobcats were constantly in foul trouble, putting the Raiders at the free-throw line an astonishing 37 times.
Wesleyan had success on the offensive boards — reeling in an impressive 21 offensive rebounds — but were very inefficient, only earning eight points from those opportunities.
The Raiders picked up a couple other crucial performances from sophomore Kryshell Gordy and freshman Lauren Mills. Gordy had 11 points with five rebounds and three assists, adding four steals. Mills had a career-high 14 points along with three rebounds.
The team is so young, with only one player owning junior status or higher (Gianna Locker — junior). Almost all of the players have had early contributions this season and are making progress in every game.
SU put the game to bed in the third quarter, outscoring Wesleyan 23–13 in the frame after a 15–2 run. Jones was dominant and continued her rise to Raider stardom.
She is averaging just less than 25 points a game so far this season and has become the main offensive threat for SU.
She will continue to be a crucial part of the team’s success as one of only a handful of returning players from last season, making her a leader in the locker room.
The Raiders are back in action tomorrow at 7 p.m. from Heiges Field House when they take on the University of the Sciences.