William Penn Snaps Losing Streak with 82-50 Road ‘W’
Marshall, Mo.–After 10 minutes of action Monday, the Statesmen women’s basketball team must have figured its recent struggles were going to continue, but William Penn flipped a switch and played likely its best ball of the year in defeating Missouri Valley 82-50 in Heart of America Athletic Conference competition.
In a game postponed since January 14, WPU (15-11, 13-9 Heart) ended its three-game losing streak (had lost five of its last six) by outshooting its foe 52.7%-35.3%.
The visitors were out of sorts early, trailing 16-6 near the end of the first period, but rallied to score nine of the next 10 points to get back into the contest early in the second quarter. The navy and gold then produced unanswered runs of six and five points to eventually lead 30-25 at halftime.
William Penn, which hit 65.4% of its field goals after intermission, extended the advantage to 50-38 in the third quarter and then put the game away with a 13-0 run.
The victors held a 28-24 margin in rebounds, but really took the Vikings (11-15, 7-15 Heart) by their proverbial horned helmets by forcing 25 turnovers. Those mistakes were turned into 25 Statesmen points. WPU also connected on eight three-pointers and finished 16-for-22 at the charity stripe.
Alyssa Phillips (Sr., Gurnee, Ill., Communications) and Sarah Hansen (Jr., Kewanee, Ill., Psychology and Human Services) both came off the bench in Monday’s win and accounted for 36 points as the WPU non-starters outscored their counterparts 49-9.
Phillips was nearly perfect, going 9-for-10 from the floor (4-for-4 FT) en route to a game-high 21 points. Hansen hit five trifectas to reach 15 points.
JeAnn Hiraldo (Jr., Frisco, Texas, Industrial Technology) was next with 13 points, while Vashti Nwagbaraocha (So., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science) added 12 points with four steals.
Point guards Asia Roper (Sr., Aurora, Colo., Psychology) and Helena Rodriguez (Sr., Zion, Ill., Sociology) set the tone at the top of the key. Roper scored five points, but was truly exceptional distributing the ball with 12 assists; it is the second time this year she has hit the dozen mark. Rodriguez was good for eight points and also dished out six assists.
William Penn tallied 24 assists on 29 made baskets in the win. Kate Ylitalo (Fr., Maple Plain, Minn., Biology) contributed six points as well.
“This was a great win for us,” Head Coach Willie Scott said. “Missouri Valley was coming off a big win against Central Methodist and unfortunately we started slow. We finally started to put it together in the second quarter and then had an awesome second half. This was a great confidence-boosting win for the ladies.”
“Asia and Helena did an amazing job running the show and Alyssa was unstoppable,” Scott added. “Shooting well from the line and the perimeter was a great sign as well.”
Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Wednesday to host Clarke in Heart action at 5:30 p.m.