IUP crimson hawk emblem

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a game that saw little scoring from both teams, 13th-ranked IUP used its best defensive performance of the year to defeat District of Columbia, 39-34, in a college women’s basketball game  Tuesday night at the UDC Sports Complex.

The 74 combined points is the lowest total in IUP women’s basketball history, while the Crimson Hawks’ 39 points scored ties the program record for the fewest, equaling the mark set against Clarion in 2004.

On the defensive end the Crimson Hawks gave up less than 40 points for the second time this season. UDC’s 20.8 field goal percentage (10-for-48) is the lowest by an IUP opponent since Ursuline connected on 20.5 percent on Nov 28, 2012.

The win was the fifth straight for the Crimson Hawks, who improved to 7-1 overall despite shooting just 23.3 percent (14-for-60) from the field, including 2-for-15 from 3-point range without senior starting guard Lexi Griggs in the lineup.

IUP’s biggest quarter was the first. The Crimson Hawks used an 8-0 run to take a 12-6 lead after 10 minutes. The run continued into the second quarter, and IUP scored 16 of 18 points to take a 20-8 with eight minutes to go in the half.

That 12-point lead was the largest of the first half for the Crimson Hawks, which they matched in the third quarter at 29-17 with six minutes to play.

IUP grabbed a 38-29 lead on a 3-pointer by Justina Mascaro with 5:11 to go in the game, part of a 5-0 run after UDC (3-6) cut its deficit to four. Mascaro’s 3-pointer proved important as the Crimson Hawks’ lead was again cut to four points with 36 seconds left. Mikayla Lovelace hit a foul shot seconds later and IUP forced a missed shot on the next possession to hold on for the win.

Rajah Fink scored a game-high 10 points in 21 minutes off the bench for the Crimson Hawks. Maura D’Anna had nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Mascaro added nine points and six boards.

IUP plays at Mansfield (2-4) on Saturday afternoon.