Women battle versus #8 IUP, lose 66-63

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 6:56 PM
Women battle versus #8 IUP, lose 66-63 by Jackson Loepp
Barnes drives towards the basket in the team's game against IUP. | Photo: Dylan Baumgartner

The Edinboro women’s basketball team faced off against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Jan. 15 at McComb Fieldhouse, falling in a close contest, 66-63.

The Crimson Hawks, ranked #8 in the nation for Division II, came into the game undefeated in conference play. Edinboro was hitting the court for the first time this spring semester, having just defeated another nationally ranked squad, California University of Pennsylvania (#15).

The first quarter saw the two teams engaged in a defensive battle, with IUP eventually pulling ahead to a 10-9 advantage. By the end of the half, however, the Crimson Hawks had begun to surge ahead, stretching their lead to nine.

“I think we’ve really learned to come together during tough games,” said starting forward Cheniya Sharpe of the recent ranked opponents.
Edinboro would do just that in the second half, as they matched IUP’s 19-point output in the third quarter. Players like Michaela Barnes, as well as Rana Elhusseini, made drives that kept the point differential from widening.

Going into the final quarter, Edinboro matched their opponent offensively and made some great defensive plays. In one sequence, Barnes netted a key turnover that allowed her a nearly unopposed basket and brought the score closer together.

The 26-point final frame for the Fighting Scots even briefly brought them ahead, before the opposition rebounded at the very end.

Beyond the overall teamwork, another highlight was redshirt senior Bridgette Shaffer, who scored 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers. The points surpassed her previous Edinboro career high.

“We can’t dwell on the loss tonight, because we played the number eight team in the nation until the very last second, and I still feel as if we have continued to grow as a team each and every game,” said Shaffer.

Indiana has won 12 of the last 13 meetings against Edinboro. The loss put the Fighting Scots at 7-7 overall and 5-5 in the conference on the season.

The team next played the Clarion Golden Eagles on Friday, who were 3-13 overall and 1-9 in the PSAC. The Scots won, 63-47. See our full story above.

When asked before the Clarion victory about the conference foe, Shaffer cautioned:

“When it comes to Clarion, we know we can’t take anyone in the PSAC lightly. So we need to just continue playing how we are and playing for each other, and our coaches will prepare us with the Xs and Os, just as they have all season.”

The Fighting Scots will play at Slippery Rock University on Saturday.

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