Clarion U. Women’s Hoops Gets Defensive in Win Over Pitt-Johnstown

CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion women’s basketball team closed out 2017 with a blast, defeating Pitt-Johnstown 60-44 in their final game of the calendar year. The Golden Eagles (7-5, 2-4 PSAC) knocked out of the top teams in the PSAC West thanks to a staunch defense, holding the Mountain Cats to single-digits in scoring in the first and last quarters.

(Photo: Jordan Bekelja. Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

The outcome of the game was never truly in question as Clarion opened up a double-digit lead coming out of the halftime break. Pitt-Johnstown pulled within eight points late in the third quarter but got no closer as the Golden Eagles stymied them in the final 10 minutes, holding them to seven points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Clarion forced 23 turnovers on the afternoon.

Three Golden Eagles finished in double-digits scoring, with Yndiah Bobo leading the way with a career-high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and also chipped in four assists. Jordan Bekelja got back into the scoring mix with 14 pounds while Amesha Harden-Pullium contributed 12 points. Tracy Wiehe pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.

The major turning point of the game was the start of the third quarter, with Clarion leading 27-21 at the end of the first half. On the opening possession of the second half, Bobo swiped the ball from Gabrielle Smith and dished it off to Harden-Pullium for a three-pointer, pushing Clarion’s lead to nine points. Bekelja forced another turnover on the next possession, stealing it from Olivia McCabe, and Yasmin Lewis finished off the transition with a make to bump the lead to 32-21. Harden-Pullium closed out the 7-0 run with a free throw make, and what was once a two-possession game turned into a 12-point gap.

Lewis added a make in the paint at the 2:59 mark of the third to make it 43-31, but Olivia McCabe’s jumper with 52 seconds left cut the Golden Eagles’ edge to eight points entering the fourth. Bekelja knocked down a three-pointer at the 9:02 mark to get the lead back into double-digits and Bobo made it 50-37 with a transition layup two possessions later. Clarion never took their foot off the pedal and took a 60-42 lead, their largest of the night, on a jumper by Wiehe in the paint.

Pitt-Johnstown’s only lead of the day came in the very first seconds when Alexis Hartwick made a jumper 12 seconds in to open the scoring. Wiehe countered with a jumper, and Clarion went on a 7-2 run to open the game. It was just a 12-9 game at the end of the first quarter as Alexis Harris made a jumper with 43 seconds left, and it was just a two-point lead for Clarion with 1:12 left in the second, but Bobo finished off an old-fashioned three-point play with two seconds left on the clock to set the halftime deficit at 27-21.

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