This past week, the Clarion Golden Eagles women’s basketball team had two games.
The first game was home against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the second contest was at Edinboro University in the McComb Fieldhouse.
Against IUP, the Golden Eagles started out slowly as the first quarter ended trailing 20-9.
During the second quarter, they were outscored once again by IUP 25-18 and trailed 45-27 at the half.
Clarion continued to lag behind IUP in the third quarter, but this time by a slim margin of 24-22.
After being outscored by IUP in the fourth 11-10, the Golden Eagles fell 79-60.
Freshman guard Jordan Bekelja led the way in scoring for the Golden Eagles, scoring 19 points in the game.
Bekelja made 5-9 from the field including a three pointer and an impressive 8-9 from the free throw line.
Senior guard Tania Holmes was second on the team, scoring 15 points on 6-12 from the field.
The second game was on the road against the Fighting Scots, and the Golden Eagles needed a big victory to keep its playoff hopes alive.
In the first half, Clarion trailed 36-27.
The Golden Eagles would need a second half surge to remain alive for the PSAC playoffs, but unfortunately Clarion had a difficult second half and the deficit grew by 13 heading into the fourth after being outscored 24-11.
The Golden Eagles fell short for a final time in the fourth 20-11, and they dropped the game to the Fighting Scots 80-49, and its record on the season fell to 8-18 overall and 8-12 in the PSAC.
The loss knocked the Golden Eagles out of the PSAC playoff chase.
Holmes led the way for the Golden Eagles, recording a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Golden Eagle sophomore Ashley DeLeonibus in her first career start scored 10 points and recorded seven rebounds.
When asked about the mindset of the team for the rest of the season, junior Jen Straw said, “We are looking to focus more on our defense and ourselves as a team. We feel as though most of the mistakes made are on us and are things that are in our control to fix. We are focusing on those things now and plan on having them fixed, and in the back of our minds as we head into these next two games.”
When asked about what has been an improvement for the team this season, Straw said, “The biggest improvement I’ve seen the team have as the season went on is confidence. When looking at the first game compared to today, I see more people willing to step up and do what it takes to win.”
Straw continued, “I also see more girls stepping out of the comfort zones and finding areas to improve on or what the team may need in order to make us successful.”
The Golden Eagles have a six-win improvement this season over last season with a game left to play.
The Golden Eagles will be back in action against University of Pitt-Johnstown Feb. 20 for Senior Day in Tippin Gymnasium.
Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.