CUP Women Grab Seventh Straight Win; Men Fall at Kutztown

jordan-bekelja-clarion
KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Clarion women’s basketball team held off a fourth-quarter rally for their seventh win in a row, defeating Kutztown 79-77 in a game that came down to the final moments at Keystone Arena.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

The Golden Eagles (9-4, 6-1 PSAC) tied their wins total from the entirety of the 2015-16 season with the victory and extended their longest win streak since taking 10 consecutive games during the 2004-05 season.

Clarion led by as many as 12 points but were faced with a tough challenge from the Golden Bears, who tied the score at 77 with just 1:56 left in the fourth quarter. Kutztown went cold the rest of the way, though, failing to score another point as Amesha Harden-Pullium and Ashley Deleonibus tacked on free throws down the stretch to take the lead.

Jordan Bekelja had a standout game with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting, also adding six assists and four rebounds to the scoresheet. Tyra Polite finished with 20 points, including 17 in the first half as Clarion took a nine-point advantage into the locker room at the break. Taylor Moltz got the start at guard and finished with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including a 4-of-8 mark from three-point range.

One of the major turning points in the game came during the second quarter when the Golden Eagles turned what was a brief Kutztown lead into a nine-point Clarion advantage at the halftime break. Polite tied the score at 34 with a pair of free throws at the 2:09 mark of the second quarter, sparking an 11-0 run to close the half. Bekelja put Clarion ahead 36-34 with a jumper and Delrika Jones-Carey added a make in the paint with a minute left to up the lead to four points. Polite close the half out with a three-pointer with 20 ticks of the clock left, making it a 43-34 advantage and sucking the life out of the Golden Bears.

The Golden Eagles’ lead became as great as 12 points when Moltz hit a three-pointer early in the third quarter, and the advantage remained in double digits as late as the 2:29 mark of the third after Bekelja drew contact on a transition bucket and finished off the and-one. Kutztown rallied back in the fourth quarter, taking a 73-72 lead on two free throws from Keifonna Ferguson.

Harden-Pullium pulled the Golden Eagles ahead 77-75 with a three-pointer at the 2:15 mark, but the Golden Bears tied it at the free throw line with less than two minutes to go. Kutztown failed to make another shot the rest of the way, though, and Clarion did a good job of cleaning the glass to limit their opponents’ second chance opportunities.

MEN DROP 94-80 DECISION TO KUTZTOWN

KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Clarion University men’s basketball team was defeated on the road by a final score of 94-80 against Kutztown University Tuesday evening. The loss moves the Golden Eagles to 5-7 on the season (3-4 PSAC). The Blue and Gold will return to action Friday evening when they host Slippery Rock in Tippin Gymnasium.

Guard Cam Grumley set the tone for the Golden Eagles on offense, posting a team-high 17 points as well as grabbing eight rebounds in the process. Akeem Williams added 15 points as well as posting a team-leading 12 rebounds. BJ Andrews also posted 15 points.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Eagles stay neck-in-neck with the Bears, keeping pace and never falling more than three points behind. Thanks to a six-point run courtesy of Williams and RJ Laugand, CU found themselves with a lead with just over four minutes to play in the opening frame. Kutztown would storm back, however ratting off eight points ro re-gain a 48-44 lead going into the locker rooms.

The second half played out much in the same as Clarion kept pace with KU for twenty straight minutes. While both teams dead accurate from beyond the arc, however Kutztown enjoyed an overall (35-32) advantage in rebounds, an advantage that would help them close out Clarion at home.


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