Run in 3rd quarter lifts PCT women to win
Penn College had its opportunities throughout the first half, but it seemed no matter how good of a look players had, the shots just wouldn’t fall in.
Junior Cassi Kuhns, a Loyalsock grad, knew that her team had potential and shouldn’t be trailing. So at halftime, the team talked about going out and hustling and making things happen to start a rally.
It didn’t take too long into the third quarter for that halftime spark to light a fire.
Maci Ilgen, Madison Klock and Kuhns all scored to start the third quarter to tie the game and Klock hit a huge 3-pointer that put Penn College ahead for the first time since early in the first quarter.
That trey helped boost the Wildcats en route to a 60-53 win against Bryn Mawr at Bardo Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
“We kind of had to light a fire under our butts and figure out how we’re going to hustle and make it happen,” Kuhns said of the halftime talk. “Coach (Britni Mohney) kind of said ‘lets go, this is ridiculous.’ It paid off and worked.”
The big 3-pointer to give the Wildcats the lead was the start of a key 11-0 run for Penn College that put the game just out of reach for Bryn Mawr. Klock, Kuhns and Dyer all came up big in that run for the Wildcats.
“It was huge for us. At halftime,we talked about intensity and having our drive. I think in the first half, we were being very lackadaisical and going through the motions,” Mohney said. “I said if we don’t have that drive, that intensity, that force, we might not come out of here with a win. We have to pick it up and take it to the next level.”
Dyer led the team with 12 points and Kuhns and Wolfe both added 11. Kuhns nearly had a double-double as she led the team with nine boards.
The Wildcats (2-5) and Owls (0-9) exchanged leads in the first half early before Bryn Mawr started to pull away and led by as many as seven in the second half. Penn College had just nine second-quarter points, six of which came from Ja’Quela Dyer.
“Our thing when that happens is just keep shooting. Maybe take a step in, take a layup or something,” Kuhns said of the shooting woes in the first half. “Just get yourself momentum because if you don’t have confidence, your shots are never going to go in.”
Halena Martin proved to be tough for Penn College to slow down as the forward shot 9 for 19 and ended with a team-high 19 points for the Owls. She also had six rebounds, five of which were defensive, and added a block.
“She’s got a big body, but she moves so well that you have to play her straight up,” Mohney said. “She just has a finesse to her game and she played great and it showed through that. We’ll see more of that and we just know we have to maintain our defense.”
“She’s their best player. … She’s good. She’s big bodied, but she’s strong, she can shoot and I’m pretty sure she’s the one who picked me up off the ground and dropped me by accident,” Kuhns said with a laugh. “I mean, I just got to respect it. Nothing you can do except respect her play.”
Bryn Mawr made it interesting late in the game when Odinaka Oranekwu made a free throw with 1:51 to play to cut the deficit down to 51-48, but that was the closest the Owls came in the fourth quarter to tying the game or taking the lead as Penn College rebuilt its lead back up to seven and led by as many as nine in the final 12 seconds.
Klock scored nine points for Penn College, but her hustle was perhaps the Wildcat’s best defensive weapon Saturday afternoon. Klock routinely was diving on the court and playing tough defense and making things hard for Bryn Mawr’s players. And that hustle provided some energy when she was on the court for Penn College, something that didn’t go unnoticed by Mohney.
“We saw whenever she was tired we took her out, and our momentum went down. So she’s a person who does the little things,” Mohney said. “Those little things count. So that hustler, that person that’s making the point guard disrupted, that dictates the rest of it and she’s the heart and hustle of this team.”
That defensive pressure helped Penn College in the second half, as the Wildcats had 11 steals — four from Wolfe.
“We definitely had to pick up our defense because if your shots aren’t falling on offense, you have to get it all back on defense,” Penn College freshman and Montoursville grad Lydia Albert said.
Penn College 60,
Bryn Mawr 53
BRYN MAWR (0-9)
Halena Martin 9-19 0-0 18; Meagan Murray-Bruce 2-10 3-4 7; Lipi Paladugu 5-13 1-2 11; Brendan Harrison 2-8 2-2 6; Odinaka Oranekwu 0-0 3-4 3; Emma Garner 0-0 0-0 0; May Hanlon 1-2 0-0 2; Ella Kotsen 0-2 0-0 0; Sydney Collins 2-7 2-2 6. Totals 21-62 11-14 53.
PENN COLLEGE (2-5)
Tori Wolfe 3-9 3-4 11; Maci Ilgen 3-6 1-2 7; Cassi Kuhns 4-8 3-7 11; Madison Klock 4-12 0-0 9; Kaylin Scott 0-1 0-0 0; Emily Hershey 0-0 0-0 0; Olivia Johnson 0-0 0-0 0; Lydia Albert 2-5 1-1 5; Makaya Shadle 1-5 3-4 5; Ja’Quela Dyer 6-10 0-0 12. Totals 23-56 11-18 60.
Bryn Mawr 18 14 7 14 — 53
Penn College 19 9 19 13 — 60
3-point goals: BM 0-4 (Martin 0-2, Harrison 0-2), PCT 3-15 (Wolfe 2-5, Klock 1-5, Shadle 0-2, Albert 0-3). Fouled out: BM-none; PCT-none. Rebounds: BM 36 (Oranekwu 8), PCT 35 (Kuhns 9). Assists: BM 11 (Harrison 3), PCT 7 (Klock 2). Technical fouls: BM-none; PCT-none. Total fouls: BM 20, PCT 13. A: 56.