By Kyle Krajewski
The KU women’s basketball team advances to the PSAC Semifinals following an 81-64 win over Lock Haven on Wednesday, March 6. The Golden Bears, the East’s top seed, will host the PSAC Final Four for the first time in the program’s history. KU will go on to face California University, the West’s second seed, in the semifinals.
This victory saw the Golden Bear squad tie the program’s single-game record with 16 three-pointers made. Thirteen of those three-pointers came in the first half, moving KU on to the conference semifinals for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
KU opened up the game scoring and wouldn’t share any of the points with the opposing team. Sophomore Rylee Derr went 5-for-5 from the three-point line in just the first quarter, opening a 15-point lead by the Golden Bears of 23-8 heading into the second quarter.
The rest of the Golden Bears decided to join Derr beyond the arc as the first six scores of the second quarter were three-point buckets. Sophomore Zoe Zerman claimed responsibility of half of those scores, while junior Karen Lapkiewicz, junior Brianna Tarabocchia and sophomore Alexis Smith completed the remaining three-pointers of the half.
All the scoring done by the Golden Bears was no match for Lock Haven, and they couldn’t keep up. The KU defense performed just as well as the game went to halftime with a score of 43-23 in favor of the Golden Bears.
A 20-point lead at halftime gave the Golden Bears plenty of breathing room and allowed the team to rest some of their key performers. The game would go on and finish with KU maintaining a lead of at least 15 and move one step closer to claiming the program’s first PSAC championship appearance.
Derr closed with a game-high of 20 points on 7-of-11 attempts. Lapkiewicz finished close behind with 19 points and five rebounds shooting 5-of-9 overall, 3-of-4 from the three-point line and a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line. Both Derr and Lapkiewicz were recognized by the league with All-PSAC honors. Derr earned First Team honors while Lapkiewicz was named to the Second Team.
The Golden Bears shot 47.5% overall (28-of-59) and 47.1% from the three-point range(16-of-34). Those 16 three-pointers tied a school single-game record which was set by this same squad less than a month ago in a win over Salem on Feb. 13.
KU now faces Cal U in the Semifinals after Cal U defeated Gannon 80-68. The winner of this matchup will then go on to face the winner of IUP against Bloomsburg in the PSAC Championships.