WPU Wins Sloppy Game in OT

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen women’s basketball team overcame 26 turnovers to sneak past Heart of America Athletic Conference foe Park 65-58 in overtime Tuesday.

In the first matchup between the programs since the 1996-1997 campaign, William Penn (6-4, 6-3 Heart) denied the Pirates (1-8, 0-8 Heart) their first league win by limiting them to just 30.4% from the field. It was also the first overtime contest of the year for WPU, which shot 39.6% overall.

The navy and gold out of the gate, giving the ball away on five of their first seven possessions and falling behind 8-2 to Park. The hosts then scored five in a row, but could not capture the lead, eventually trailing 17-12 after 10 minutes of play. WPU committed nine turnovers in the opening period.

The margin swayed anywhere from three to eight points in favor of PU during the second stanza with the Pirates leading 26-23 at the break as it took advantage of seven more mistakes by the Statesmen.

William Penn finally drew even with the first three points of the third quarter, but the visiting crew kept the Statesmen at bay and went into the final period with a 39-36 advantage. WPU began to slowly improve in regards to ball control with only had five turnovers in the quarter.

A mini four-point run gave WPU its first lead, but yet again the Pirates had an answer and extended the edge to four at 46-42 with just inside of five minutes remaining. The score seesawed from there with the navy and gold actually regaining the lead at 49-48 via a three-pointer by Lakyla Moore (Jr., Norfolk, Neb., Business Management). It was a huge shot for so many reasons, especially because it was her first make in 12 tries on Tuesday. The junior, who was just 5-for-19 from the field (2-for-15 3-PT), found other ways to score, however, as she finished 6-for-7 at the line.

It was a short-lived Statesmen lead as Park responded with four straight. Still a two-point game at 52-50 in favor of Park in the final minute, both teams missed chances to score, including a pair of free throws for PU with eight seconds left in regulation. Zantasia White (Lubbock, Texas, Secondary Education) pulled down the rebound on the second missed attempt and Head Coach Steve Williamson called a timeout to move the ball to half court.

Out of the huddle, Breanna Wendland (Jr., Richfield, Minn., Undecided), who was replacing an injured Maci Kuchta (Fr., Columbia, Mo., Biology) at the point, drove to the basket and flipped up a left-handed layup. It was too strong, but White corralled the weak-side rebound and put it back up and in to tie the game with 2.3 seconds left. White then made sure the game went an extra session with a steal on the ensuing Park possession. She unfortunately was unable to fire up a desperation game-winning shot.

After having so many offensive issues in the first 40 minutes of play, William Penn found its stroke in overtime, scoring the first six points, highlighted by a Moore trifecta.

The Pirates pulled to within four twice, but the Statesmen closed strong to avoid the upset. Highlighting the play down the stretch was a White bucket from the wing, a charge taken by Bailey Reardon (So., River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education), three free throws by Wendland, and two more by Moore.

What may have helped WPU the most was that it committed just five turnovers in the final 15 minutes of play. Despite its poor shooting, Park had a great chance to win due to scoring 20 points off WPU’s turnovers; WPU had six points off of PU’s 13 mistakes.

William Penn countered by holding a 51-36 rebounding edge. Although they actually had three fewer offensive rebounds than Park at 12-9, the victors owned a 15-8 mark in second-chance points. Morgan Terry (Jr., Cornersville, Tenn., Biology) topped her team with eight rebounds off the bench.

Behind Moore’s 6-for-7 and Wendland’s 6-for-8, the navy and gold ended up 21-for-29 at the free-throw line, while Park was just 10-for-21.

In addition to her 18 points, Moore also posted team highs in assists (4) and steals (3).

Brittany West (Sr., Shakopee, Minn., Sports Management) was an effective deep threat in the victory, going 4-for-5 from beyond the perimeter (5-for-7 overall) en route to 17 points. Reardon was also 5-for-7 for 13 points, while Wendland joined the double-digit club with 10 points.

Next Up: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa Thursday to host Mount Mercy in Heart action at 7 p.m.

Posted by on Dec 15 2020. 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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