This past Tuesday, the Clarion Women’s basketball took a trip south to visit PSAC West rival and defending Division II champions, California University of Pennsylvania, the result was not desirable.
The game ended with the score line of CalU 67, Clarion 48.
“We turned the ball over way too much; when you turn the ball over 20 plus times you just play right into their hands,” said Head Coach Jana Ashley on the heels of the loss Tuesday night. “I thought some parts of our game were good, but when we give up multiple open layups there’s not much you can do about that.”
It a frustrating day for Clarion, which after a competitive first quarter that saw good play from freshman point guard Jordan Bekelja, who had the first five points of the game, turned sour quickly after starting the second quarter of play.
The second quarter saw Clarion get outscored 16-8 and just outright beaten.
It was not helped by the fact that Tyra Polite, one of the teams’ best shooters, was held out for the entire first quarter due to a uniform violation and had trouble getting back into a rhythm in the rest of the first half.
At the half, the Golden Eagles trailed 37-22.
The second half didn’t go as planned as Clarion was underwhelming yet again, only scoring six points the entire third quarter and trailing 50-28.
The offense finally began to click in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
The Golden Eagles outscored the Vulcans 20-17 in the final 10 minutes of play led by efforts from junior forward Jen Straw and sophomore guard Amesha Harden-Pulliam, who each had 10 points to lead the team in scoring.
Star guard Tania Holmes continued her absence from game action yet again due to injury.
“T [Holmes] is still recovering, its up to the training staff to get her ready, right now it is game to game. I know she [Holmes] is itching to get back at it and we are ready for her when she is ready,” said Ashley.
Holmes’s absence was much felt for much of the game as Clarion struggled with ball handling and scoring for most of the contest, two areas Holmes excels at.
“We needed another ball handler tonight. CalU was aggressive on defense and we couldn’t match up; not having someone like T [Holmes] today who we know can put the ball in the hole and can distribute makes a big difference,” said Ashley.
The road trip was not a complete loss though, as playing a good team like CalU on the road was an important experience for the team.
“Cal is a great team, and they made us realize that against good teams we can’t allow them to have more than one chances on offense, we have to learn and get better from this,” explained Ashley.
The team will not have long to reflect on the road loss as they will hit the road out to Eastern Pa with games this Friday against Mansfield, and Saturday at Lock Haven.
Tipoffsagainst Mansfield is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.