CUP Roundup: Women’s Hoops Beats Shippensburg; Men’s Bball Falls; Swim Teams at Akron

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. – The Clarion women’s basketball team led from beginning to end in winning their first conference game of the season, defeating Shippensburg 65-59 on the road on Sunday to even their overall record.

(Photo of Tynita White. Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics. Photo by Bri Nellis)

The Golden Eagles (4-4, 1-3 PSAC) will return home for a non-conference tilt with Penn State – Greater Allegheny on Wednesday, December 6. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m.

Clarion never trailed throughout 40 minutes, and the only time when the game was tied was in the few seconds before the Golden Eagles scored their first bucket of the day. They outscored the Raiders 18-7 in the first quarter and led by 15 points at the break. Though Shippensburg outscored Clarion in each of the subsequent two periods, never were they able to muster enough to climb over the top.

Amesha Harden-Pullium finished with a team-high 21 points and was especially effective at the free throw line, where she went 12-of-14. Jordan Bekelja was right behind her, notching 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting (3-of-4 from three-point range) and a perfect 6-of-6 day at the charity stripe. The junior guard also led the team in rebounding with seven caroms on the afternoon.

As said before, the only time the game was tied was in the first 1:29, before Harden-Pullium opened the scoring for either team with a bucket off a turnover at the 8:31 mark. That kicked off a 9-3 run for Clarion, who kept the Raiders off the scoreboard for more than four minutes to start the game. Tracy Wiehe laid one in at the 4:04 mark to make it 9-3, and Tynita White expanded the lead to 11 points when she scored to make it 16-5. White kept the deficit at 11 points at the end of the first quarter, taking a pass from Yndiah Bobo and making a midrange jumper to set the score at 18-7.

The Golden Eagles’ largest lead of the afternoon came late in the second quarter, when Bekelja drilled a three-pointer with 2:41 left in the half to make it 27-11. Wiehe kept the deficit there 40 seconds later with a jumper, and Bekelja closed out the first half with a transition bucket to give Clarion a 31-16 halftime lead.

Shippensburg wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, cutting the lead to single digits with 4:24 left in the third quarter and at one point pulling within five points. Clarion held them off in the third, though, with Harden-Pullium making two free throws at the end of the period to make it 46-38. The Raiders’ Ariel Jones made a three-pointer with 1:07 left in the game to pull her team with 57-56, but free throws down the stretch were key as the Golden Eagles kept Shippensburg at bay.


SHIPPENSBURG, Pa – Clarion men’s basketball got off to a slow start and was unable to catch up, falling 78-65 on the road to Shippensburg University, Saturday afternoon.

Clarion (2-7, 0-4 PSAC), playing their second of back to back road games, fell behind early and trailed the Red Raiders at the half, 43-24.

Shippensburg played up to their solid reputation on defense, coming into the game having allowed an average of just 69 points. Clarion had been averaging 84 points per game on offense but shot just 38 percent from the floor on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles shot better in the second half, where they went 15 for 35 (42 percent) including 5 of 12 from three-point range.

Clarion was led by freshman Mason Mraz, who registered 14 points on 5 of 11 shooting, while also pulling down 7 rebounds. Israel Atkins got the starting nod on Saturday, delivering 12 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes of work. Senior Cameron Grumley narrowly missed a double-double on the day, finishing with 10 points and 9 rebounds.

Coach Marcess Williams and his squad will play their 5th of 5 consecutive road games, next Saturday when they travel to Bloomsburg University for a PSAC contest. Tip-off against the Huskies is set for 1 p.m.

Men’s Swimming Finishes Fourth at Zippy Invitational

AKRON, Ohio – The Clarion men’s swimming & diving team finished off the weekend at the Zippy Invitational hosted by Akron, taking fourth place overall with a score of 1165 to conclude the three-day event.

The duo of Ben Spencer and Nathan Porter both excelled in the 200 Back, with the pair finishing together in the top-six. Spencer touched the wall in 1:52.53 for a fourth-place while Porter showed up less than a second behind him, taking sixth with a time of 1:53.20. Chris Fenoglietto did well in the “B” heat with a time of 1:58.41.

The pair of Joshua Thruston and Joseph Folz turned in another such performance, with both scoring points in the “A” heat of the 100 Free. Thruston finished fourth with a time of 45.89 while Folz took seventh with a time of 46.29. Robert Hacku was the other Golden Eagle to place highly, taking 12th overall and fourth in the “B” heat with a 47.25.

Elsewhere, Aaron Cooper had a good showing in the 200 Breaststroke, taking eighth with a time of 2:13.18, while Patrick Olivier took ninth in the 200 Fly with a time of 2:00.05. Frank Bevevino was just behind him with a time of 2:04.59. Rounding out the day was the 400 Free Relay team of Hacku, Tate Swanson, Nate Luey and Porter, who finished eigthth overall with a time of 3:12.84.

Women’s Swimming Takes Eighth at Zippy Invitational

AKRON, Ohio – The Clarion women’s swimming & diving team completed their weekend at the Zippy Invitational hosted by Akron, taking eighth place overall with 406 points. That final score even put them ahead of one of the Division I programs in attendance, Niagara.

Freshman Mary Clare Smith started the day by taking 14th in the 1650 Free, with the talented first-year competitor completing the long-distance event in a time of 17:22.17. That blew away the NCAA “B” qualifying standard of 17:33.63. Smith also placed highly in the 200 Breaststroke, taking eighth overall with a time of 2:23.85.

In the 200 Back, Summer Dacheux took 12th overall but first among Division II competitors with a time of 2:03.71. Fellow senior Alexis Lopez notched points in the next race down the line, finishing the 100 Free with a time of 52.29.

Rounding out the day for the Golden Eagles was the 400 Free Relay team of Becca Yonek, Morgan Manglaviti, Danielle Jellison and Gabi Wayne. The quartet finished the race in 3:33.57, just 0.15 seconds ahead of the other Clarion squad in the race, which included Letizia Collini, Abbigale Newman, Dacheux and Lopez.

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