The team that was too young has finally grown up.
The California University women’s basketball team pulled off its biggest win of the season Wednesday night, upsetting fourth-ranked Indiana 57-52 in a PSAC West Division game at the Convocation Center.
Cal (11-6, 17-6) snapped IUP’s 19-game winning streak by holding the Crimson Hawks (16-1, 21-2) to 39% shooting and forcing 21 turnovers.
And the Vulcans, who were again playing without leading scorer Monica Burns, did it with two freshmen (Halle Herrington and Olivia Hudson) and one sophomore (Shauna Harrison) playing all of the pivotal fourth quarter.
“I have been saying all year that we are extremely young,” Cal coach Jess Strom said. “We played with two freshmen and a sophomore for most of the second half against the No. 4 team in the country. But the only way to get experience is to play.”
Even with the freshmen contributing big plays, it was the scoring of two veterans, senior wing D.J. Hahn and junior point guard Bianca Jasper, that made the difference.
Hahn scored a team-high 18 points and Jasper had 15 points and eight rebounds.
IUP’s Natalie Myers tied the score at 50-50 with a three-pointer with 4:58 remaining. The Crimson Hawks, however, wouldn’t score again until the final second of the game.
Hahn made a layup that gave Cal the lead for good and her three-pointer, which rolled all the way around the rim before falling in, gave the Vulcans a 55-50 edge with 2:44 left.
“D.J. has never been comfortable taking big shots, but tonight she took the big shots and made them,” Strom said.
Cal made only 17 field goals, but nine were three-pointers including four by Hahn. The Vulcans won despite missing their first 11 shots, yet somehow led 10-6 after one quarter.
“We preach that you have to play defense because the offense isn’t going to be there every night,” Strom said. “We held (IUP) to 52 points, which is 20 below their average. We let our defense keep us in the game.”
IUP’s Justina Mascaro scored a game-high 20 points.
Washington & Jefferson 76, Waynesburg 59: Alie Seto scored all of her game-high 21 points in the second half to power Washington & Jefferson to a 76-59 win over visiting Waynesburg in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference game.
Seto and W&J, which improves to 10-4 in the PAC and 15-7 overall, dominated the second half. Seto’s 21 points in the final two quarters was only five shy of Waynesbug’s 26 second-half points. The Presidents outscored Waynesburg (4-9, 5-17) in the second half 48-26.
It wasn’t all bad for the Yellow Jackets, who led 33-28 at halftime.
Brooke Fuller, Alli DeLaney and Andrea Orlosky all scored in double figures for Waynesburg. Fuller finished with a team-high 14 points. DeLaney had 13 and Orlosky added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Four other players helped balance the scoring for W&J. Piper Morningstar went 4-for-6 from the field and made all five of her free throws to score 14 points. Lauren Gilbert, Maria Lawhorne and Hannah Johnston each finished with 11.
Washington & Jefferson 71, Waynesburg 65: Trailing by 10 points at halftime, Washington & Jefferson caught fire to start the second half and avoid upset-minded Waynesburg, 71-65, in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference game.
The third straight win for W&J (13-10, 8-6) keeps it three games above .500 and firmly in the middle of the PAC standings. Waynesburg falls to 4-9 in the PAC and 4-18 overall.
The Presidents outscored Waynesburg 43-27 in the second half, using a balanced offensive effort.
Jonathan DeVitto led four players for W&J in double figures with 18 points. Alexander Skowron scored 13 points off the bench. Primo Zini and Cameron Seemann each finished with 12.
Waynesburg’s Brennan Smith led all scorers with 21 points. Isaiah Alonzo added 16 for the Yellow Jackets.