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IUP BASKETBALL: Crimson Hawks sink Shepherd

by The Indiana Gazette on December 03, 2013 10:35 AM

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Unbeaten IUP jumped out to a 25-point halftime lead and cruised to a 78-53 win over Shepherd in a non-conference women’s basketball game Monday at the Butcher Center.  

The Crimson Hawks improved to 6-0. They play at Seton Hill in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division game Saturday.

“This was just a good team defensive effort,” first-year IUP coach Tom McConnell said after the Hawks held Shepherd to 27.5 percent shooting from field. “They were a very capable scoring team, but our low-post defense was really good, plus we were able to contain their dribble penetration. The defense really ignited our runs tonight. The more stops we got, the more points we seemed to score in transition.”

Gabby Flinchum gave Shepherd its only lead of the night when she hit a jump shot 31 seconds into the game.

IUP answered with a 14-4 burst in the next eight minutes to take an eight-point lead, 14-6, with 10:57 to play in the first half. Five Crimson Hawks recorded a field goal during the spurt, including guard Lindsay Stamp, who had four of her game-high 20 points.

IUP then scored 16 unanswered points in the next 4:30 to extend its lead to 24 points, 30-6, with 6:19 to go in the first half. Point guard Marita Mathe fueled the rally by sinking a pair of 3-point field goals. Stamp and guard Amy Fairman added four points apiece during the run.

“I was really happy we were finally able to get Marita some opportunities and some open looks,” McConnell said. “She’s been doing a great job defending and distributing and just running the team, but she’s also a really good shooter. As we develop we definitely want to get her the ball more in shooting situations.”

Fairman hit a 3 with 1:50 to go to give the Crimson Hawks a 41-14 lead, their largest of the first half. But IUP built its biggest lead of the night when Stamp buried a jumper 2:43 into the second half to put the Hawks ahead by 35 points, 55-20.

The Crimson Hawks maintained at least a 25-point lead until Jimyse Brown hit a layup with 9:13 left in regulation to make it a 24-point game, 59-35.

In the last nine minutes, six IUP players made field goals and the Crimson Hawks sank 5 of 8 free throws. IUP held no less than a 20-point lead in that span. Stamp, IUP’s leading scorer, made 10 of 15 field goals and collected team highs in rebounds and steals with eight and three, respectively.

“She got some post-up opportunities so she was doing it inside and out tonight,” McConnell said of Stamp, a junior from Erie who scored 20 points or more in each of the Hawks’ six games.

Mathe, an Indiana graduate, chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Stapleton, who graduated high school alongside Mathe, added 10 points and three rebounds, and Fairman, a Marion Center graduate, had nine points, four rebounds, three assists and a block. Her streak of getting at least one steal ended at 46 games.

IUP shot 46.8 percent (29 of 62) from the field and led the rebounding 47-37.

NOTES: Blairsville graduate Mackenzie Livingston, a freshman at IUP, scored a point to get on the scoresheet for the first time in her career. … Homer-Center graduate Maggie McLoughlin, a freshman at Shepherd, made 2 of 2 free throws and scored two points.

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