Alex Henry – Staff Writer
This past weekend, the Clarion University Women’s basketball team was in action at Tippin gym for the final time this season as they host California University of Pennsylvania on Senior Day.
Clarion honored its three seniors, forward Jen Straw, forward Delrika Jones-Carey and guard Tyra Polite in pregame ceremonies.
Junior forward Shelby Coughenour said, “The seniors are great and have been a huge part of our success this year, and have been great role models for all the younger players now and to come through this program. It was great to be able to honor them for their last game in Tippin.”
The Vulcans entered the game ranked third in the nation in the Division II women’s basketball poll.
The Golden Eagles started out slow and trailed by 20 after the first quarter.
Clarion spent the rest of the contest trying to play catch up.
The Golden Eagles outscored the Vulcans in the second quarter 15-13, but entered the half trailing 43-25.
The Golden Eagles were outscored 19-14 in the third and 17-15 in the fourth, leading to a 79-54 defeat.
Jones-Carey led the team with 15 points, shooting 7-10 from the field and added seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Polite finished the contest with 10 points on 13 shots from the field, while tallying up nine rebounds along with three assists on the night.
Junior Golden Eagle guard Amesha Harden-Pullium had 12 points in the game and contributed three assists.
Sophomore guard Jordan Bekelja had seven points, five assists and two steals in the game.
Coughenour said on the game, “The outcome could’ve been better, but after the first quarter we really settled down and tried to cut into Cal’s lead but the first quarter was a little too much to come back from.”
Clarion fell to 14-12 on the season and 11-9 in the PSAC West.
Despite the loss, the Golden Eagles have secured a playoff berth into the PSAC tournament for the first time under head coach Jana Ashley in her three years at Clarion.
Coughenour spoke about making it into the PSAC tournament: “It’s awesome! It’s really a testament to how hard the team has worked to get to where we are, and it was our main goal at the beginning of the season.”
Coughenour commented on her coach’s impact on making the tournament and turning around the women’s basketball program.
“It’s been crazy, she really pushes everyone and has transformed the entire program in a very short time.”
The Golden Eagles will close out its season this Saturday as they travel Edinboro.