CUP Roundup: Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Hoops Come Up Empty Friday

cup-womens-basketball
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Clarion men’s basketball fell on the road against the Fairmont State Fighting Falcons 88-76 Friday evening at Joe Retton Arena.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

The Golden Eagles move to 0-1 on the season.

Jamani Pierce led the Blue and Gold against FSU, finishing with a team-high 21 points, adding four rebounds and an assist in the effort. BJ Andrews, Manny Powell, and Cameron Grumely each scored in double-digit figures as well, with Grumely posting a team-high seven assists and Andrews a team-high eight rebounds.

The Eagles came out of the gate storming in the first, taking advantage of a big three by Pierce on their first offensive possession of the game. Followed up by a few big buckets from Pierce and Powell, Clarion found themselves hanging with Fairmont State as the two squads traded chances all throughout the game’s opening half.

Fairmont State was able to take control in the second half, however, grabbing fifteen points from beyond the arc and utilizing their deep bench. The Golden Eagles return to action Saturday when they take on West Virginia Wesleyan.

WOMEN’S HOOPS FALLS TO FAIRMONT STATE

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Clarion women’s basketball team came out firing from three-point range but was unable to make up a second-half deficit, falling by a score of 69-54 to Fairmont State in the first game of the 2016 MEC/PSAC Challenge. The Golden Eagles (0-1) will face off with Concord tomorrow.

Tyra Polite played nearly the entire game on Friday night, scoring 15 points in 39 minutes while also pulling in six rebounds and dishing out two assists. Newcomer Quorea Pearyer had the game-high for Clarion, posting 16 points in just 22 minutes of action. Pearyer went off from beyond the arc, going 4-of-5 from three-point range. Delrika Jones-Carey tied for the game-high with 11 boards.

Clarion trailed after one half of action but came out firing in the third quarter, outscoring the eagles 24-19 to make it a close game again. The Golden Eagles were strong from three-point range, shooting 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from behind the long line. Fairmont State out-rebounded them 49-39, though, and outscored them 16-4 on second chance points.

Amesha Harden-Pulliam struck the first dagger in the third quarter, draining a three-pointer off a feed from Jordan Bekelja to make it 30-21. Fairmont State responded with a 5-0 run before Bekelja herself stopped the bleeding with a trey of her own. Pearyer made it a single-digit game with threes on consecutive possessions, knocking one down at the 4:54 mark and another with 4:17 left in the third quarter, both off passes from Polite. Polite made it a two-score game with a jumper at the 1:02 mark, making it 47-41, but Fairmont State upped the lead to nine points on a fast break layup by Emily Puskarich.

Fairmont State upped the lead to as many as 19 points in the fourth, though Pearyer cut into that with a personal 4-0 run that included a score in the paint off a steal from Jones-Carey. There would be no more field goals the rest of the game, though, as both defenses locked things down in the stretch.

VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FIVE SETS TO SETON HILL

GREENSBURG, Pa. – The Clarion volleyball team was edged on the road in a PSAC Southwest match on Friday, with the Golden Eagles falling 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 12-15) to the Seton Hill Griffins. Clarion (16-13, 10-7 PSAC) will close the regular season tomorrow evening when they face California (Pa.).

Clarion held a 2-1 lead after three sets, prevailing in the second and third of a match where the margin of error was razor-thin. The Griffins took control in the fourth set, though, and the two teams were set on a collision course in the fifth. The final stanza went back and forth, but ultimately Seton Hill took the final two points of the set to win.

Taylor Braunagel and Lauryn Driscoll were both efficient and prolific, with Braunagel notching 17 kills and hitting .286. Driscoll wasn’t far behind with 16 kills and a .282 hitting percentage. Leah Vensel dished out 55 assists while Catherine Ferragonio was responsible for a team-high 24 digs. Mackenzie Biggs also contributed 14 kills.

The Golden Eagles closed out the tight second and third sets impressively, holding off the hard-charging Griffins to take a 2-1 lead. In the second set Driscoll made it 14-10 with a kill and Marissa Robertson upped the lead to 17-12 with a kill of her own. Robertson struck again to force Seton Hill into a timeout at 21-15, but the Griffins rallied and cut it to 23-20. A Griffin service error gave Clarion the opening they needed, with Biggs bouncing a kill to take the set at 25-20.

Clarion opened the third set on a 9-3 run that was punctuated with a kill by Olivia Olson. The Griffins cut it to 13-11 but the Golden Eagles rallied and made it 18-12 on another kill by Olson, this time forcing Seton Hill into a timeout. Braunagel glanced an ace off Mary Baich to make it 22-17, and Vensel scored on a dump to make it 25-21 and give Clarion a 2-1 lead.

Seton Hill controlled the fourth set from the get go, winning by a score of 25-14 to force the fifth set. Clarion took an 8-5 lead on back-to-back kills by Biggs but the Griffins used a 5-0 run to retake the lead. Braunagel eventually cut Seton Hill’s lead to 13-12 with a kill but the Griffins closed it out for the win.


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