Hawks fall short at Seton Hill
GREENSBURG, PA— IUP women’s basketball was narrowly in the red for most of the night, particularly in the fourth quarter, and fell 65-60 on the road to Seton Hill on Wednesday night.
IUP (14-6, 9-6) was over 30 minutes behind in the contest but didn’t allow Seton Hill (15-9, 8-7) to retire until late. Maria Cerro again led the Hawks by 15 points and four steals while Gina Adams and Kiera Baughman scored 14 points apiece. The Hawks shot 36.7% for the night and couldn’t move forward again in the final three quarters.
The Griffins, celebrating 100 years of women’s basketball, were led by Christiane Frye with 22 points (9-17 FG) in the highest scoring. Frye lost 19 of those points in the first half for SHU as the primary offensive player, adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sakeira Harlson added 16 points, including some timely buckets, along with 11 rebounds and five blocks for a double-double. Helene Cowan scored 13 points with five assists for the Griffins.
IUP went just 12-to-18 from the foul line while Seton Hill was tackled in time in the second half to secure a key conference win in a compact Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West. Terra Preston struggled offensively with five points (2-9 FG) but grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the first clash of the season against the Griffins.
Baughman reduced the deficit to one point in the fourth quarter, 58-57, before Harlson tipped the game over the next few possessions. The Griffins had eight blocks on the night and went 8-for-23 from across the arch.
Alan Cardona posted a turnaround jumper for a 5-0 IUP advantage, with both sides settling in the contest. The Hawks extended the lead to 7-0 with a slicing layup from Adams before the Griffins countered with back-to-back hoops in the game’s first media timeout.
Frye evened the score at nine and 12 with back-to-back triples, which made up each of the Griffins’ first 12 points in the first quarter. SHU closed the frame by one with seven of the last nine points for a 16-14 advantage. Frye scored all six field goals scored for SHU in the first.
The Griffins extended their lead to 24:14 with a 10-0 sprint as IUP struggled to avoid themselves early in the second game. Cerro drove for a much-needed basket at 6:41 before the Griffins responded with another three from Frye.
SHU increased its media timeout field goal percentage to 47.8% in the second quarter and led 29-21. Cardona and Baughman combined for a slicing basket underneath as the Hawks previously worked their deficit to 29-25 Janeira Scott pinned a knight after a SHU offensive foul.
Cowan worked his way into double figures with a hesitant lay-in, then scored again later and put SHU to a 35-29 lead at the break. The Hawks committed nine turnovers on the stanza as SHU converted 12 points from those errors in the first 20 minutes. Adams scored 13 points for the Hawks on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half.
The Hawks started the third quarter with a 6-0 run and a 38-35 deficit. Cerro capitalized on a steal and scored before SHU responded immediately to keep the narrow lead. Despite chances, IUP just couldn’t make ends meet in the third quarter, while SHU chilled off the floor with a goalless stretch of over three minutes. Cardona reduced the deficit to one at the foul line to 42-41 before the Griffins quickly responded with another three.
The momentum swing continued into the early parts of the fourth quarter as Alie converted Seto via contact underneath. Baughman was left with just the third treble of the night for IUP before Cerro raced forward to an undisputed layin and took the Hawks to two points in the fourth. Seton Hill continued to hold a slim lead, which Harlson extended to 58-52 with a putback.
Although IUP reduced their deficit to one possession multiple times, SHU had an offensive response every time. Harlson converted a stickback through contact for a key bucket and pocketed the and-one free throw for a 63-57 advantage with less than 1:30 remaining. Helene Cowan grabbed a crucial offensive rebound with less than a minute to go and provided enough separation at the foul line.
IUP welcomes division leader Gannon to the KCAC for a tip at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4th.
For the latest information, visit IUPAthletics.com and follow IUP Women’s Basketball on Twitter @IUPCrimsonHawk and @IUP_WBB.