The Shippensburg University women’s basketball team picked up a critical 89-82 win on the road against Seton Hill University on Sunday afternoon. The win moved the team into a three-way tie for first place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division.
The Raiders (11-6, 8-3 PSAC) received a balanced effort on Sunday, with four starters scoring in double figures. Junior Destiny Jefferson led the way with an efficient 23 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
After falling behind 13-4 in the first few minutes of the game, Shippensburg went on a 20-0 run which stretched from the 5:00 mark of the first quarter to the 9:45 mark of the second quarter. The Raiders effectively turned a 13-4 deficit into a 24-13 lead.
Seton Hill (12-4, 7-4 PSAC), the third-place team in the PSAC Western Division, responded by beginning the second quarter on a 15-6 run to get back into the game.
With the score knotted up at 28, Shippensburg’s Kryshell Gordy hit a layup to give the Raiders a 30-28 lead. Shippensburg would hold onto the lead for the rest of the contest.
Gordy finished the game with 16 points and 16 rebounds. It was her second consecutive game with 16 rebounds. Sophomore Lauren Mills finished with 16 points, tying her season high, to go with four assists, three rebounds, one block and one steal.
Late in the contest, junior Ariel Jones went to the free-throw line with a chance to make Shippensburg school history. She made both attempts from the line and in the process broke Lauren Beckley’s school record for career made free throws. Jones finished the game with 22 points, a season-high six assists, three blocks and two steals.
The win over Seton Hill capped a strong week of basketball for SU. The Raiders began the week by defeating Bloomsburg University 66-53 at Heiges Field House on Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s contest proved to be a clash of play styles, with SU relying on size and scoring in the paint and Bloomsburg relying on the 3-point shot. The Huskies attempted 26 threes compared to only 10 for the Raiders.
In the end, the Raiders’ physical style of play won out. Shippensburg outscored Bloomsburg 42-20 in points in the paint. Junior Aunbrielle Green led the Raiders in points with 18 while also adding in five rebounds. The aforementioned Gordy led SU in rebounds with 16.
The win did not come easy, however, as Bloomsburg held a 29-28 lead heading into halftime. Jones, Shippensburg’s leading scorer, left the game late in the first quarter following a hard fall after shooting a layup. She was down on the court for a few minutes before eventually walking off.
Jones missed the second quarter, one in which the Raiders offense scored 12 points and struggled to get anything going, but she came back out on the floor to begin the second half.
The Raiders began the second half on an 11-2 run which opened up an eight-point lead that they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Despite missing one quarter of action, Jones still finished the game with 17 points and three rebounds.
The Raiders currently sit in a three-way tie with East Stroudsburg and Kutztown universities for first place in the PSAC Eastern Division. However, the Raiders hold a head-to-head advantage with ESU by virtue of their 70-68 victory over the Warriors on Jan. 11.
SU and Kutztown face off for the first time this season on Wednesday night at Heiges Field House with first place in the division potentially being on the line.