COLLEGE SPORTS: SU Basketball roundup

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Shippensburg women’s basketball team takes two wins in opening weekend

SHIPPENSBURG – The Shippensburg University women’s basketball season, picked in a preseason coaches poll as the favorite to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division this year, won its first two games in Heiges Field House over the weekend.

On Friday, senior Ariel Jones (Lebanon/Cedar Crest) became the fourth player in school history to reach 2,000 career points, leading all players with 35 points in the season opener, as Shippensburg posted an 80-66 victory over Virginia Union.

Shippensburg (1-0) put forth a 17-2 run over the opening 5:03 of the second quarter to establish a 41-20 lead. Virginia Union (0-1) trailed by 17 points at halftime but got within seven points of the lead with 5:02 remaining before the Raiders pulled away.

Jones’ 35-point effort marks her 23rd career game of 30 or more points. She was 4-of-9 from the three-point range and 7-of-12 from the free-throw line. Jones scored 26 points in the first half, only three points less than the entire Panther team. Sixteen of her points came in the first quarter. She also added eight rebounds, a block, and a steal and committed just two turnovers.

On Saturday, Shippensburg had four players post double figures and held visiting Bowie State to just 33 percent shooting from the field in posting a 73-59 victory over the Bulldogs.

Shippensburg used a 17-7 run at the beginning of the third quarter to establish a 50-37 lead. Bowie State (0-1) trailed by three points at halftime but could get no closer than seven points of the lead after the Raiders’ third-quarter run.

Senior Destiny Jefferson (Scranton/West Scranton (West Chester)) led the Raiders with 21 points – the 22nd 20-point game of her career. Jefferson scored 15 points in the second half – including 11 in the fourth quarter. She also added three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Junior Lauren Pettis (Harrisburg/Susquehanna Township) tied her career high points with 19. Pettis scored 13 of her points in the first half and was 8-of-10 from the field. She also added seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal.

The Raider women will host Jefferson Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Shippensburg men’s team splits two games in opening weekend

PETERSBURG, Va., — The Shippensburg University men’s basketball team split its two opening games against Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) opponents over the weekend.

Shippensburg used a late charge to get past Virginia Union in its 2021-22 season opener, defeating the Panthers 71-65 at the Trojan Tip-Off Classic hosted by Virginia State University.

Shippensburg and Virginia Union were tied 53-53 with 7:40 remaining when the Raiders used a 12-2 run to pull away. SU was 26 of 34 (76.5 percent) at the free-throw line, including 20-of-25 (80 percent) in the second half (17 of 21 over the final seven minutes), and committed just nine turnovers.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Recchia (Mars./Mars Area) was among the players making their Raider debut Friday night and ended up leading the team in scoring, totaling 15 points in just 12 minutes of action. Recchia was 9-of-9 at the free-throw line and hit a key three-pointer during SU’s second-half run.

SU had balanced scoring, as seven different players contributed at least seven points. Redshirt-junior Dom Sleva (Pittsburgh/Montour) made his second collegiate start and finished with 13 points, a team-high nine rebounds and three assists. Junior Carlos Carter (Indiana/Indiana) had 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Shippensburg was not as fortunate Saturday against traditional CIAA power Virginia State, dropping an 85-75 decision.

Shippensburg opened the second half on a 14-3 run to flip a nine-point halftime deficit into a two-point lead. SU trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half but used a 10-0 run to chip away at its initial deficit. 

Virginia State began a 15-2 run with 9:36 remaining to turn a two-point lead into a 15-point advantage. SU once again managed to get within five points of the lead with 85 seconds left, but got no closer.

The host Trojans shot 50.7 percent from the field and outscored the Raiders in the paint, 40-28. SU shot 42 percent from the field, including 8-of-20 (40 percent) from three-point range.

Junior Luke Nedrow (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic (Marist)) led the Raiders with 21 points – his second career 20-point game. Nedrow made a career-high three three-pointers, grabbed five rebounds and and had two blocks in 30 minutes of action before fouling out.

Redshirt junior Rashon Johnson (Philadelphia/Simon Gratz (Highland C.C.)) posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Kiyon Hardy (Philadelphia/The Shipley School (Kutztown)) had 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and junior Carlos Carter had 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Shippensburg played both games without star guard and team tri-captain Jake Biss.

The Raiders will open their home season Wednesday against Wilmington at 8 p.m.