Vulcans open new home with win, loss
CALIFORNIA – The California University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team took to the court first to open up the new Convocation Center on campus and they got off to a flying start.
The Vulcans used a 19-2 run early in the first half to vault themselves to a big lead as they blew by Mansfield, 79-52, in the first official basketball game at the new home of the Vulcans.
The Vulcans used quick hands and speed to smother the Mountaineers defensively in the early going, forcing seven turnovers in the first six minutes of the game.
“All week it’s been a little difficult to try and manage all the distractions during practice,” coach Mark Swasey said. “We were trying to practice all week long and there were hundreds of people coming in.
“When we finally got going, it was our defense that made us turn the corner.”
The Vulcans’ defense forced 24 turnovers for the game and had five players score in double figures to overwhelm the Moutaineers.
“Moving the ball is really the key,” Swasey said. “We showed today that when we move the ball, we can be really good.”
Danielle Luckett, a senior guard, scored 15 points and 6-foot-2 sophomore Elena Antonenko added 14 to lead the Vulcans.
“Our post game has been a little slow to come along,” Swasey said. “Elena did a great job today down in the blocks. That really allowed our shooters to get going.”
Senior Amy Johns added 11 points for the Vulcans, and junior Megan Kermond and freshman Chelsea McKnight each added 10 points, with Kermond doing all her scoring in the second half, including three 3-pointers.
The Mountaineers were led by Mallory Moore’s 19 points.
“What we saw today was that we have a great young nucleus to this team,” Swasey said. “They really need to mature and grow into the system.
“We have some young kids that can really play.”
On Sunday, the Vulcans hosted Bloomsburg, the preseason favorite in the PSAC East, and were hit with a barrage of three pointers, falling to the Huskies, 77-68.
Bloomsburg was 15-of-26 from behind the arc.
For the Vulcans (3-3, 2-2), Johns notched a double-double, scoring a season-high 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Luckett and Ryah Gadson added 11 and 10 points. It wasn’t enough to overcome the shooting of the Huskies.
Catherine Noack, who was 5-of-9 from three point range scored 17 points for Bloomsburg (6-2, 2-2). Teammate Alyssa Flanagan was 4-for-4 from behind the arc and scored 14 points.
Ten of the Huskie’s three-pointers came in the second half.
The Vulcans will continue PSAC crossover play with games at Kutztown Friday and East Stroudsburg Saturday.
GAME NOTES – McKnight will go into the record books for scoring the first basket in Convocation Center history?he Vulcans shot 4-of-17 from 3-point range against the Huskies.