Women’s Basketball sinks Ship: Huskies maintain winning streak against Raiders

Matt Rushforth, Sports Editor

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The Bloomsburg University women’s basketball team survived a late scare and won its fifth consecutive game after a 78-71 win on the road over Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) foe Shippensburg University on Wednesday night. The Huskies improved to 14-6 (10-3 PSAC) overall in the 2018-19 season.

Sophomore Bella Ricci led the Huskies with 24 points in the win. Junior Taylor Montana recorded yet another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds of her own in the victory.

Bloomsburg also saw sophomore guard Emma Saxton score ten points and gobble in five rebounds. Sophomore Megan Brandt also chipped in nine points in the victory.

Shippensburg outscored Bloomsburg 33-28 in the fourth quarter to make it an interesting game at 76-70 with under a minute to play. Ricci made two free throws to ice the Huskies fifth consecutive victory and boost her team as the biggest threat coming out of the PSAC Eastern division.

The Huskies led the Red Raiders for nearly the entire game to make it their first win over Shippensburg since the 2016-17 season. The biggest threat in the Bloomsburg defense had to be sophomore guard Ariel Jones, as she finished with 38 points for the Red Raiders.

Bloomsburg shot 24-49 (49%) from the field and just 2-8 from three-point range, both of which coming from Bella Ricci. The Huskies were out rebounded in the win by a 37-32 margin.

The Huskies have now won five consecutive PSAC contests with the win. Bloomsburg also holds a sole possession of first place in the PSAC Eastern division. BU has not had a winning record since going 26-5 in the 2014-15 season.

Bloomsburg is now ranked eighth in the latest D2SIDA Atlantic Regional rankings. The Huskies enter the rankings as the third PSAC squad behind Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and California University of PA.

The Huskies show to finally be a complete squad after three years of rebuilding as they have three players averaging points per game in the double digits. Senior Alyssa Mack, Taylor Montana, and sophomore Emma Saxton are all averaging nearly 13 points per game. Last season, Mack was the only figure averaging in the double digits with 10.6.

Alyssa Mack is also the newest addition to the Bloomsburg University 1,000-point club during the team’s 54-49 win over East Stroudsburg last Monday. Mack is the twenty-second player in the program’s history to break the prestigious mark.

The Huskies have plenty to look ahead to as they continue PSAC play in the coming games. Bloomsburg returns home to play West Chester University on Saturday but then hits the road again to play Kutztown and Lock Haven. The Huskies know they have plenty more tests to show they are worthy of a PSAC Championship.

Bloomsburg returns home for their next challenge as they welcome West Chester University to the Nelson Field House. Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.