Statesmen Drop Key Matchup to Clarke
Oskaloosa–The William Penn women’s basketball team had too big of a deficit to overcome and fell to Clarke 74-63 in Heart of America Athletic Conference play Wednesday.
WPU (15-12, 13-10 Heart), which entered the night tied with Clarke (18-9, 14-9 Heart) for fifth place, was trying to stay in the hunt for a top four spot in the league standings. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s loss drops the team into sixth place, two games back of fourth with three contests left in the regular season.
The hosts were narrowly outshot 41.5%-39.3% and came up short in rebounding, 38-37, but, in the end, had the game taken away at the free-throw line. Clarke found more success getting to the stripe and converting there, finishing 26-for-38, while William Penn was just 10-for-19.
Despite committing 19 turnovers (15 for CU), the navy and gold actually managed a 17-14 edge in points off turnovers. The Statesmen were also better in second-chance points, 9-6.
WPU led 10-9 midway through the first quarter, but a strong finish for the Crusaders put them ahead 21-13 after 10 minutes of action. Their advantage grew to 14 before the home squad trimmed the margin to 33-23 at halftime.
William Penn was a bit stronger in the third period, entering the final quarter down 51-43. The Statesmen continued to fight, eventually drawing to within five (64-59) with 3:19 remaining, but failed to get any closer in the waning minutes.
Vashti Nwagbaraocha (So., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science) paced WPU with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds; she also assisted on four baskets.
Sarah Hansen (Jr., Kewanee, Ill., Psychology and Human Services) also reached double figures with 12 points.
JeAnn Hiraldo (Jr., Frisco, Texas, Industrial Technology) and Alyssa Phillips (Sr., Gurnee, Ill., Communications) each managed eight points, while Morgan Neeley (Jr., Flint, Mich., Exercise Science) added six points with three steals.
Helena Rodriguez (Sr., Zion, Ill., Sociology) led William Penn with five assists.
Next Up: William Penn travels to Lamoni Saturday to face Graceland in Heart action at 2 p.m.