The Shippensburg University women’s basketball team began 2020 by continuing its stretch of good play with a pair of Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) wins against Millersville University and Mansfield University.
The Raiders (8-5, 5-2 PSAC) battled on Friday night against Millersville, with the game going to double overtime before finally being decided. It was the first double overtime game for the Raiders in nearly 10 years.
SU used an 8-0 run to begin the second overtime period to catapult them to a 91-77 victory. Millersville (5-7, 2-5 PSAC) shot just 1-of-9 from the field in the second overtime period.
The lead was exchanged 23 times and both teams combined to commit 62 fouls. The Raiders totaled 41 attempts from the free-throw line, but they converted on only 68.3% of them.
Junior Ariel Jones led the way for the Raiders, scoring 26 points while adding seven rebounds and three assists. She made 10 of her 12 attempts from the line.
Shippensburg came into the game with a plan of attacking the paint and utilizing their size advantage. Millersville has only two players on its roster who are 6-foot or taller, compared to the five playing for Shippensburg. As a result, the Raiders had a 56-32 advantage in points in the paint. Sophomore Aunbrielle Green finished with 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
Sophomore Lauren Pettis also had a standout performance against Millersville, totaling eight points, six rebounds and three assists. She played the entirety of both overtime periods and produced five of her eight points to go with three rebounds and all three of her assists.
Pettis continued her good play on Monday night when the Raiders defeated Mansfield 89-62. She finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. Eight of her 12 points came in the first quarter.
Pettis, who started all 27 games last season, has changed roles this season and is now coming off the bench. However, that has not changed both her attitude and her play on the court. She is averaging 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game off the bench.
The Raiders had control of the game throughout, but Mansfield was able to stay within striking distance until the fourth quarter when SU exploded for 31 points. Shippensburg head coach Kristy Trn spoke after the game about what changed in the fourth quarter that allowed the team to pull away.
“I think in the fourth quarter we realized that we would need to play better defense,” Trn said. “We had better communication and we started to switch some things, take away their penetration to the basket, force them into perimeter shots and did a better job rebounding. And obviously coming down the floor, scoring and getting to the free-throw line to build the lead.”
Shippensburg allowed only 15 points in the final quarter and shot 76.47% from the field as a team as they pulled away from Mansfield on Monday night.
The Raiders, who have won five of their last six games, are currently tied with East Stroudsburg University for first place in the PSAC Eastern Division. However, coach Trn still believes that the team can improve to “championship level” in a couple of different areas.
The Raiders go on the road later this week to face West Chester University on Wednesday and East Stroudsburg University on Saturday.