Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA – Brittany West (Sr., Shakopee, Minn., Sports Management) thoroughly enjoyed playing on her home court for the first time this season as she guided the William Penn women’s basketball team to a 101-68 Heart of America Athletic Conference victory over Peru State Wednesday.
The Statesmen (4-3, 4-2 Heart) led wire-to-wire in collecting their fourth win in a row. It is the first time WPU has eclipsed the century mark since producing 127 points in its 2018-2019 season opener against Association Free Lutheran Bible School. It is also the first time the program has accomplished the feat in conference play since a 100-83 victory over Grand View on January 12, 2011.
West posted her first double-double of the season (second of her career) with a career-high 30 points alongside 10 rebounds. The senior finished 11-for-19 from the field, including making five of her 10 three-point attempts, while also going 3-for-4 at the free-throw line.
The hosts came up empty on their first three possessions, but Lakyla Moore (Jr., Norfolk, Neb., Business Management) finally broke the scoreless tie at the 8:35 mark with a three-pointer. Moore matched West with five trifectas en route to an impressive 23-point effort herself. Her bucket started an 11-0 run to begin the contest.
The Bobcats (3-6, 1-4 Heart) responded with six of the next eight points, but they would never get closer than a seven-point margin.
After 10 minutes of play, WPU led 22-12 with seven points from both West and Moore. PSC tallied the first two points of the second stanza, but the navy and gold had little trouble keeping their foes at bay, leading 51-33 at intermission.
The Bobcats made one final push to make it 57-44 midway through the third period, but 10 unanswered by the Statesmen put the game away. West was her best in the third quarter with 10 points to up her tally to 25 points; she added five more in an inconsequential fourth period as both teams emptied their benches.
William Penn caught fire in the second half, shooting 63.0% and ending the bout with a 51.5%-35.7% shooting advantage. The victors also went 13-for-30 from the perimeter (43.3%), while Peru State was just 6-for-18 (33.3%).
Maci Kuchta (Fr., Columbia, Mo., Biology), with 14 points, and Jakayla Kirk (Fr., Florissant, Mo., Sociology), with 12 points, also reached double figures. Bailey Reardon (So., River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education) just missed the mark with nine points, while Caroline Hoppock (Jr., Olathe, Kan., Biology) contributed seven points Wednesday.
Breanna Wendland (Jr., Richfield, Minn., Undecided) accounted for only three points, but was a force everywhere else, including tallying a team-best 10 assists in addition to eight rebounds.
The referees called a tight game with 47 fouls being whistled, leading to 58 combined free throws. PSC was able to stay in the contest as long as it did by shooting 84.6% (22-for-26), while the Statesmen had issues at just 62.5% (20-for-32).
WPU dominated the boards at 45-29, highlighted by a 17-9 edge on the offensive glass, which led to a 23-8 mark in second-chance points.
The Statesmen took advantage of PSC’s mistakes as well, scoring 17 points on 16 Bobcat turnovers. Conversely, the home squad allowed only four points off of its 13 mistakes. Moore was a big part of the defensive charge as she notched four of WPU’s eight steals.
“I am very proud of the effort we played with and the way we shared the ball tonight,” Head Coach Steve Williamson said. “Getting assists on 21 of 34 made shots is very good. Posting 17 offensive rebounds also shows our players were working hard. We need to build on this effort and improve on the mistakes we made.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to Dubuque Saturday to face #13 Clarke in Heart play at 2 p.m.