Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vulcans edge past Shippensburg, 59-54

INDIANA, Pa. (Dec. 12) – With the scored tied in the final minute, the No. 25 Vulcans scored seven-straight points to claim a 59-54 victory over Shippensburg on Sunday afternoon during the Susan G. Komen Shoot for the Cure Classic hosted by IUP.

With the win, the California University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team improves to 5-2 this season. Meanwhile, Shippensburg drops to 3-4 this year after taking a split during the weekend tournament with a 79-73 win over the host Crimson Hawks yesterday.

Junior forward Amy Johns (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) scored a game-high 19 points after making 7-of-15 from the floor and four-of-five from the free-throw line. She also tallied five rebounds (three offensive) and three steals against the Red Raiders. The former McKeesport standout leads the Vulcans with 17.6 points and 29.9 minutes per game this season.

Freshman forward Elena Antonenko (Moscow, Russia/State University of Physical Education) set season highs in virtually every category, including 12 points in 25 minutes off the bench. She also registered eight rebounds (five offensive) and four blocks on Sunday. Sophomore Stephanie Michael (Morgantown, W.Va./Morgantown) added nine points and eight rebounds, while classmate Megan Kermond (Adelaide, Australia/Unley) posted eight points off the bench.

The Vulcans led 52-51 with 1:35 left in the game before the Red Raiders took their first lead of the game when sophomore Dana Wert converted a traditional three-point play, 54-52, with 46 seconds remaining. Cal U regained the lead, 55-54, on the ensuing possession when Johns also converted a three-point play.

After a Shippensburg turnover, Antonenko made a free-throw before Shippensburg missed a lay-up and Johns hit a free-throw to give Cal U a 57-54 lead with five seconds left. The Red Raiders again committed a turnover on their next possession before freshman guard Ryah Gadson (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) sealed the victory with a pair of free-throws in the final seconds.

The teams shot similar percentages from the floor and free-throw line. Cal U made a season-low 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the field, while Shippensburg shot at 36.7 clip (18-of-49). The Vulcans made five free-throws in the final minute and finished the game shooting 65.0 percent (13-of-20) from the charity stripe.

Both teams grabbed 39 rebounds and the Vulcans scored 15 second-chance points off 16 offensive rebounds. Cal U also collected 12 steals after forcing 20 turnovers in the victory.

Senior Kasey Gardner, an all-region selection last season, posted a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds and freshman Ashley Giedemann added 10 points.

Cal U is idle for two-plus weeks due to finals and Christmas before returning to action Dec. 30 when it travels to face Charleston (W.Va.) at 5:30 p.m.

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