After defeating West Chester 83-72 in the first round of the PSAC tournament, the women’s basketball team was defeated by Bloomsburg University. Despite the season-ending loss, KU had a great season compared to the 2011-2012 season in which they had a losing record to conclude the year.
The Golden Bears finished the year at 16-12. Last season, the team coouldn’t manage a double-digit win total let alone a first round victory in the PSAC playoffs. A season before, KU finished the season 8-20 with a conference record of 6-16. The Golden Bears this year finished the PSAC schedule 13-9.
The Golden Bears ended their season against the high-powered Bloomsburg Huskies team Tuesday, March 5. After a 51-19 point half, Bloomsburg convincingly defeated KU 81-52. Bloomsburg went on to win the PSAC tournament by defeating the seventh ranked Gannon University 74-57. Bloomsburg will compete in the NCAA Tournament over Spring Break.
The last game of the season was not a pretty sight for the Golden Bears. In one half, KU’s entire point total was nearly scored by the Huskies. The Huskies shot an astounding 55 percent in both quarters of play. KU shot 22 percent, which simply wouldn’t cut it against this efficient offense. Plus, the Huskies scored seven thrrepointers compared to the Golden Bears’ two.
Though there weren’t many, KU had some successful areas in this game. First of all, KU outrebounded the Huskies an unlikely situation for the short KU roster. Otherwise, free throws were a huge strength for the Golden Bears. KU went to the line for 36 shots making 26 of them for a free throw average of 72 percent. The Huskies shot 20 free throws the entire game.
The orange orb didn’t drop through the nylon net this game, but KU had one of the most productive scorers in the league this season. Senior Ashley Wood averaged 14.3, and her 415 points this season was good enough for third in the PSAC. As far as efficiency goes, Wood was fourth in the PSAC for shooting percentage with .393 shooting percentage. Wood will be the only senior leaving KU next season and apparently her presence will be missed.
Next season, the team will rely heavily on three individuals. The first being the injured Steph Zewe, whose presence on the inside was missed this season. The other two focal points will be freshman Natalya Lee and junior Alyssa Bonenberger.
As a freshman, Lee was one of the most worked athletes in the PSAC. She played the second most minutes in the league and averaged 10.7 points a game for second best on the team, while defensively she led the team in steals.
Bonenberger being the third piece of the team has been an overall dominant player. She has just been overall well-rounded this season. She led the team with 8.4 rebounds a game. Third in scoring, she average 10.7 points a game. Her near double-double season average performance this year will surely help the team next season.
The Golden Bears, now on their break, are waiting to get back into action. As a young team, the future looks bright. Wood will be missed, but hopefully for Coach Janet Malouf’s sake, the young team will be able to step into the excellent guards shoes.
By Clayton Youtz