William Penn University issued the following announcement on Feb. 9
William Penn Women's Basketball hosted Baker on Saturday, looking to build upon a five-game winning streak.
The 18th ranked Statesmen (23-2, 18-2 Heart) came into the match-up with the Wildcats (15-12, 10-11 Heart) controlling their own destiny in their aspirations of grabbing the Heart of America Athletic Conference crown. The ladies continue their historic run defeating Baker 68-48.
WPU did not have its best three-point shooting night (20%) but was on fire everywhere else shooting 45% from the field. The stingy defense of Head Coach Steve Williamson forced the Wildcats to shoot just 32% from the field and held them to just 17% from beyond the arc.
Kate Ylitalo (Jr., Maple Plain, Minn., Biology) came out of the gates red-hot racking up 10 points in the first quarter to guide the navy and gold to an early 21-9 advantage after one quarter of play.
Baker was not going to go quietly however, as they surged back in the second. Eventually, the Wildcats tied the Statesmen with 22 seconds left in the quarter to knot it up at the half, 28-28.
Second half adjustments have been a staple in William Penn's game all year and that continued in this one. The ladies outscored their opponent 23-9 in the third, due in large part to great defensive work (5 forced turnovers) and the 2018 All-American Vashti Nwagbaraocha (Sr., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science). The senior scored 10 points in the quarter as her team took a 51-37 lead into the final period.
From there, the William Penn lead grew to as many as 22 on two different occasions, putting the final touches on its 23rd win of the season. They outscored the Wildcats 40-20 in the final half of play.
Nwagbaraocha and Ylitalo led the way offensively scoring 28 and 22 points respectively while each grabbing eight boards.
Jenna Santi (Sr., Oak Creek, Wis., Sports Management) had herself a nice all-around game, posting seven points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Brenda Pennington (Jr., Hammond, Ind.) tallied six points, five boards, and had two steals.
The Statesmen dominated the boards, outrebounding their opponent 40-23 and forced 19 turnovers.
"I am proud of the way we came out after halftime. The second quarter was very bad for us. I challenged our team at halftime, and they responded." Coach Williamson said, "Vashti was huge for us and Jenna made some great defensive plays down the stretch. Kate Ylitalo made some big plays as well."
Original source can be found here.
Source: William Penn University