The Shippensburg University women’s basketball team extended their winning streak to four games with two wins against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) competition this past week.
The Raiders (10-10, 6-6 PSAC) are playing their best basketball of the season right now, and it showed when they defeated Mansfield University (1-15, 1-12 PSAC) 84–44 on a dominant Wednesday night at Heiges Field House.
The Raiders led the whole game against Mansfield, really pulling away in the second quarter. SU outscored Mansfield 25–6 in the second quarter, and the game was never really close after that.
It was a good game for the Raiders in terms of controlling the ball. They had their first game with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio, totaling 16 assists to 14 turnovers. On the defensive end, the Raiders flew around the court all game long, totaling 16 steals to help them defeat the Mounties.
On the offensive end, the Raiders were led by sophomore Ariel Jones. Jones was very efficient from the floor, scoring 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the win over Mansfield.
Freshman Lauren Mills had one of the best games of her season thus far, totaling 12 points, a career-high nine rebounds, four assists and a career-high four steals.
The Raiders continued to build momentum as they competed against West Chester University on Saturday afternoon and won a hard-fought game that took until the fourth quarter to be decided. SU defeated West Chester (9-11, 5-7 PSAC) 79–70 behind another dominant effort from Jones.
Jones totaled 31 points and did an excellent job of drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line. She totaled 18 attempts from the line, and that played a big difference in helping the Raiders get past the Golden Rams. This was the seventh time this season that Jones has scored 30 or more points.
The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first three quarters, with the teams being within one point of each other after the first three quarters. Shippensburg held a two-point lead heading into the final five minutes of the game, when the Raiders went on a 12–5 run to put the game away. Jones accounted for all 12 points during the run, most of them coming from the free-throw line.
Freshman Aunbrielle Green added 17 points and eight rebounds on Saturday. Sophomore Kryshell Gordy scored eight points while grabbing a career-high 18 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds, dishing out seven assists.
The Raiders controlled the ball well once again, totaling 18 assists to 17 turnovers. Ball control has been a theme of the past couple of games for the Raiders. Jones leads the team in assists per game with 3.6, but she has struggled at times to control the ball. She averages 3.7 turnovers per game.
Jones is a special player for the Raiders, and one of the reasons why they are in prime position to make it to the PSAC tournament at the end of the season. She leads the PSAC in points per game with 26.
The Raiders are a young team, and it has been good to have some players stepping up for the team as the season goes on. Green has been an important addition for the Raiders, averaging 12.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game so far this season. Over the last three games, Green has caught fire on the offensive end, averaging 17.7 points per game over that stretch.
The Raiders are heading into a more difficult part of their schedule, with their next two games being against the top two teams in the PSAC. The Raiders seem to be clicking at the right time. They currently sit in third place in the PSAC Eastern Division, and are right behind Kutztown University (10-9, 8-4 PSAC). A win against the Golden Bears in the coming week would pull the Raiders to within one game of second place in the division.
Up next for SU is a big game against Bloomsburg University (13-6, 9-3 PSAC) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. from Heiges Field House, followed by a road game on Saturday afternoon against Kutztown.