The Shippensburg University women’s basketball team snapped Kutztown’s four-game winning streak with an overtime win Saturday over the Golden Bears, 68-62, in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division match that allowed the Raiders to remain unbeaten (9-0) this season at Heiges Field House.
How it happened
Shippensburg (14-3, 9-2 PSAC) was down by eight points with less than five minutes to go but went on a 9-2 run that ultimately sent the game into overtime. A driving layup by senior Ariel Jones (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) got the Raiders within one of the lead entering the final minute, and the Golden Bears responded with 1-of-2 at the free-throw line to take a two-point lead.
Following a timeout with 19 seconds remaining, KU attempted an in-bounds pass that was stolen by Jones, who sent an outlet pass to sophomore Taja Colbert (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) for a breakaway layup that tied the score with 15 seconds left. SU made a defensive stand, and in overtime, junior Treasure George (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) hit a three-pointer with three minutes left that gave SU a 61-60 lead.
Down the stretch, four free throws from Jones, the reigning PSAC Eastern Division Athlete of the Week, and one from Colbert, helped secure the victory for the Raiders.
Despite trailing or being tied in each quarter, and Kutztown leading for more than 35 minutes of the game, Shippensburg’s defense in the fourth quarter and overtime was pivotal. The Raiders limited the Golden Bears to 3-of-18 (16.6 percent) from the field in the fourth quarter and overtime – including 0-for-5 from the field in overtime.
Kutztown (9-8, 7-4) shot 35 percent from the field overall and made six three-pointers but shot just 25 from behind the arc. SU’s relentless defense caused 19 KU turnovers compared to just nine by the Raiders. SU also took advantage by outscoring the Golden Bears 21-4 off turnovers.
At the free-throw line, Shippensburg shot 76.5 percent (26-of-34) while Kutztown shot just 55.6 percent (10-of-18). Jones and Pettis combined to go 21-of-26 (80.7 percent) at the free-throw line. For Pettis, it was a huge career high at the free-throw line by going 11-of-14 – her previous single-game best was six free throws at IUP in December 2021.
SU was led by Jones with 22 points and seven rebounds; she added a team-high six assists, two blocks and three steals. George scored 11 of her 14 points after the first half and added two rebounds, an assist, and drew two offensive charges.
Reigning PSAC Eastern Division Defensive Athlete of the Week, Pettis banked her fifth consecutive double-double and 11th this season, with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Sophomore Abbie Miller (Camp Hill, Pa./Cumberland Valley) grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds and added two steals and four points.
Off the bench, Colbert just missed finishing in double figures with nine points. She added four assists, three rebounds and a steal.
Shippensburg is back on the road on Monday for a matchup against Millersville at 5:30 p.m.. On Wednesday, SU will host Shepherd at 6 p.m. for its third game in a five-day span.
* Saturday marked Shippensburg’s second overtime game of the season, as the Raiders rallied to win at Bowie State on Nov. 27 (63-56). It was the first home overtime game since a double-overtime victory over Millersville on Jan. 3, 2020 (91-77).
* Shippensburg snapped a three-game losing streak to Kutztown with Saturday’s victory.
* Shippensburg’s 14-3 start to the season is its best in 22 years (2000-01).