The Mansfield (Pa) University women’s basketball team ended their season with a hard fought loss to Division II No. 16 Bloomsburg (Pa) University 63-55 on Senior Day at Decker Gymnasium in Mansfield (Feb.22).
Mansfield ends their season 0-26 and 0-16 in the PSAC East while Bloomsburg (22- 3, 13-2 PSAC East) clinched their fourth straight Eastern division crown. The victory was the Huskies 15th straight, which is the fourth longest active streak in Division II.
Bloomsburg jumped out to a 17-9 lead midway through the first half before Mansfield countered with a 9-0 run over the next three minutes taking a 18-17 lead on a jumper by Alyssa DeRitchie at the 7:54 mark of the first half.
Bloomsburg then went on a 9-2 run to give the Huskies a six-point lead again and they would ultimately take an eight-point edge into intermission at 32-24.
The Huskies stretched their advantage to double digits for the first time at 38-28 with 15:48 remaining on a jumper by Jocelyn Ford.
Bloomsburg extended its lead to as much as 18 points at 55-37 on a 3-pointer by Marla Simmons with a little less than nine minutes to play, but the Mountaineers wouldn’t go away.
Mansfield chipped away at the Huskies' lead, pulling back within nine with 2:46 left following free throws from senior Jena Matter. Ford answered on the other end with a layup to put the score at 61-50, but Mansfield would get as close as six at 61-55 with 59 seconds to play.
A Mountaineer foul sent Ford to the line and she knocked down both shots before Brianna Dudeck forced a steal on the ensuing Mansfield possession to effectively put the game on ice.
Ford narrowly missed a double-double effort, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds while Catherine Noack also poured in 16 points.
Matter, who was honored during pregame ceremonies, posted a game-high 16 points and pulled down a team-best seven rebounds to lead the Mountaineers. She finishes her stellar four year career ranked 11th on the school’s all-time scoring list (1073) and eighth in career rebounds (668).
Megan McSwain added 14 points while DeRitchie scored 11 points with six rebounds.
Bloomsburg will be the top seed from the Eastern Division in the PSAC Tournament and will earn a first round bye. The Huskies will host a quarterfinal contest vs. an opponent to be determined on Tuesday, March 4 at home.
Bloomsburg has won 11 straight games over Mansfield and leads the all-time series 56-10.