Balance, Defense Lead WPU to Holiday Classic Win

Elgin, Ill.–The Statesmen women’s basketball team knocked the rust off and picked up a 79-45 victory over host Judson in the opener of the Judson Christmas Classic Monday.

William Penn (8-3), which had not played since December 7, used a dominating second half to propel it to its fourth consecutive win and fifth in six contests. The visitors led just 40-31 at intermission, but shot 50.0% after the break, while limiting the Eagles (0-13) to just 13.6% in the second half.

The navy and gold scored the first four points of the evening, but allowed JU to rally with eight consecutive points for its lone lead. WPU then answered with seven straight for an 11-8 edge and never trailed again. After 10 minutes of play, the Statesmen held a 23-15 advantage.

The hosts’ lead grew to 15 at 38-23 before Judson climbed back in to make it a single-digit margin at halftime.

William Penn stormed out of the locker room with 12 points in a row as part of a 21-6 third quarter. The Statesmen cruised from there, outscoring the Eagles 18-8 in the final stanza.

In toll, 13 WPU players scored in the victory as the squad held a 47.0%-29.8% advantage in shooting. Neither team was strong from behind the arc (27.3%-23.8% won by WPU) nor at the line (68.8%-66.7% won by WPU). William Penn also controlled the boards with a 45-27 mark, including a 14-3 edge on the offensive glass.

Kate Ylitalo (Sr., Maple Plain, Minn., Biology) paced all participants with 15 points, headlined by three three-pointers.

Autumn Voigt (Sr., Clintonville, Wis., Business Management) joined her fellow senior in double digits with 11 points; she also blocked two shots Monday.

The trio of Brenda Pennington (Sr., Hammond, Ind., Psychology), Madisyn Rogan (Fr., Stevens Point, Wis., Applied Mathematics), and Bailey Reardon (River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education) all tallied eight points apiece, while Olivia Usher (Sr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mathematics) contributed seven points. Rogan also pulled down a team-high six rebounds, while Pennington dished out four assists to top WPU.

Makenzie Pezley (Sr., Keokuk, Iowa, Elementary Education) was good for an additional five points as well.

The Statesmen were also better in ball control with only 10 turnovers, compared to 14 mistakes by JU.

“It was nice to get back on the court after three weeks off,” Head Coach Steve Williamson said. “We were definitely a little rusty early and made some mistakes, but our second-half defense was really good.”

Next Up: William Penn concludes the Classic Tuesday by facing Cardinal Stritch at 1 p.m.

Posted by on Dec 31 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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