LOCK HAVEN — The IUP women’s basketball team traveled across cold, snowy Pennsylvania this weekend and came home with two victories.
The Crimson Hawks overcame a little more than that to secure Saturday afternoon’s victory, a 77-66 decision over Lock Haven in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover game.
Junior guard Lindsay Stamp, IUP’s leading scorer, battled illness to lead the Hawks with 25 points, and three other players chipped in with double-figure scoring.
“She’s a very confident player, and she knows that we have confidence in her,” IUP coach Tom McConnell said. “After yesterday’s game she spent all of last night and the early part of this morning in bed, battling flu symptoms. We didn’t even know if she’d be able to play today. It was more of a game-time decision.”
The 5-foot-10 former transfer from Mercyhurst leads IUP (11-1) with a conference-high 20.8 points per game. Her 25 on Saturday marked her second-highest scoring total of the season, next to a 35-point performance versus Pitt Johnstown.
“Frank Trenney, our trainer, did a good job making sure she was strong enough and ready to go,” McConnell said. “She wasn’t 100 percent physically, but for her to go out and play the way she did showed a lot of heart and a lot of courage.”
Ashley Stoner scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, Talen Watson added 12 points, and Amy Fairman had 10 points for IUP, which shot 26 of 57 (45.6 percent) overall and 6 of 11 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range.
“I’m real happy we were able to put four players in double figures, and Leslie Stapleton finished with eight, so we were close to putting five players in double figures,” McConnell said. “That’s the way we want to play. We want to be able to share the ball.”
The Hawks have won five in a row, including a 78-63 victory at Mansfield on Friday night.
“I told the girls, this is no small thing, what you’ve done, to be able to win on the road back-to-back,” McConnell said. “We were battling weather over there, illness, all those kind of things, but I said, ‘Your unity and the way you care about each other and the way you love each other is stronger than any injury, any sickness, any weather and that kind of stuff.’ That’s a really, really good sign to keep doing that. It’s a good team win.”
IUP opened up a 20-6 lead early on but saw the lead cut to as little as four before the gap widened to seven, 38-31, at halftime.
“It seemed to be a game of runs where we were able to string some stops together, and then they did the same thing,” McConnell said. “We were fortunate that we were able to sustain it just a little bit longer. … We knew they would make a run at us, so I was proud of our girls for the way they hung tough, stayed together, withstood their run and were able to build the lead back up again.”
Emily Daugherty, a redshirt junior guard and a graduate of Ligonier Valley High School, scored 20 points to lead Lock Haven (2-10). She shot 6 of 12 from the field and made 5 of 6 free throws.
“We knew going into the game from watching film that Emily’s a very skilled offensive player,” McConnell said. “We knew if we were going to have any success today, we had to limit her shots, and she still went for 20 on us. She can beat you in a lot of ways. She can shoot the basketball, she takes it to the rim, she gets it off the glass. She’s a really, really good player in our conference.”
IUP improved to 5-0 in PSAC crossover play. Its final game against an East Division opponent is Wednesday, when the Hawks welcome Bloomsburg to the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.
“At this point, we don’t even really talk about that,” McConnell said of his team’s success against the PSAC East. “We just talk about the next opponent on our schedule. We don’t really talk about where they’re from or anything like that. We just try to focus more on us and growing and getting better every day. We were fortunate today to be able to get this one on the road.”