Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eryn Withers Scores Career-High 26 Points but IUP Falls Short in Loss to Shippensburg

Despite a career-high 26 points by Eryn Withers, IUP fell short in a 79-73 loss to Shippensburg on the opening day of the sixth annual Susan G. Komen Shoot for the Cure Classic at Memorial Field House.

The loss dropped the Crimson Hawks to 2-3 on the season with a game vs. West Liberty coming up Sunday at 3 p.m. Shippensburg evened its mark at 3-3 and takes on California tomorrow at 1 p.m. West Liberty defeated the Vulcans 88-83 in the opening game of the tournament earlier Saturday.

Withers scored 23 points in the second half alone, including a 3-point play with 1:53 remaining that gave IUP its final lead at 67-65. Ashley Giedemann created the 18th tie of the game with a jumper 14 seconds later, and Kasey Gardner gave the Raiders the lead for good with a basket at the 1:12 mark, the 27th time in the game that the lead changed hands.

Giedemann led Shippensburg with 22 points followed by Gardner with 21 and Shawna Wert with 14. Lacey Claar and Sarah Pastorek joined Withers in double figures for the Crimson Hawks with 10 each, with Claar dishing out eight assists and making four steals and Pastorek grabbing a game-high seven rebounds.

The Raiders took advantage of a closely called game that included 32 fouls vs. IUP to outscore the Crimson Hawks 30-17 from the free throw line, with Giedemann and Wert combining to go 19 of 21. Four IUP players fouled out and another two ended the game with four fouls.

After Gardner put Shippensburg in front 69-67, Wert made two free throws after a Withers’ turnover to make it a four-point lead. IUP did not allow the Raiders to pull away, however, and cut a five-point deficit down to 75-73 on the last of Withers’ four 3-pointers with 25 seconds remaining.

That would be as close as the Crimson Hawks would get as Shippensburg was red hot from the charity stripe, making all 10 of its attempts in the final minute to prevent IUP from pulling out the win at the end.

IUP was whistled for a whopping 16 fouls in the first half, sending the Raiders to the line 19 times, but trailed only 31-30 at the break thanks in large part due to 36.4 percent Shippensburg shooting from the field. Two free throws by Pastorek with 9:49 left in the game gave IUP a 47-46 lead before Withers began her one-woman show.

The senior, whose previous high was 23 points, scored 13 of IUP’s next 15 points, hitting consecutive 3-pointers that left the Crimson Hawks in front 62-57 with 4:16 remaining. A layup by Claar off an offensive rebound by Vianca Tejada kept IUP ahead 64-60 at the 2:46 ma

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