Macomb, Ill.–Sarah Hansen (Jr., Neponset, Ill.) had a monster evening in the first time donning a Statesmen uniform, but the William Penn women’s basketball team could not pull off the upset in a 95-69 exhibition loss to Western Illinois Wednesday.
Hansen was 10-for-21 from the field, including going 5-for-15 from three-point range, to score 31 points. She was a constant on the hardwood, playing 37 of the 40 possible minutes against the NCAA Division I program.
Hansen did most of her damage in the first half with 25 points. Behind the junior transfer, the navy and gold started hot with an 11-4 edge midway through the first quarter. WPU continued to keep pace with the Leathernecks, actually tying the game for the fourth and final time at 39-39 with 2:24 to go until intermission. Unfortunately, WIU took the lead for good on a late 12-1 run to hold a 51-40 advantage after two periods.
The home team continued to pull away in the second half as WPU shot just 27.6% after halftime. Overall, WPU was outshot 42.6%-37.7%.
Hansen was the only Statesmen in double figures as Alyssa Phillips (Sr., Gurnee, Ill., Communications) was next with a near double-double of eight points and 10 rebounds. Phillips also blocked two shots.
Vashti Nwagbaraocha (So., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science) recorded six points and six rebounds; the visitors narrowly lost the rebounding battle 43-41.
Not surprisingly in an early-season game, both teams struggled with ball control, combining for 66 turnovers, including 39 by William Penn.
Asia Roper (Sr., Aurora, Colo., Psychology) had some issues handling the round ball, but besides that had an all-around solid effort, managing five points, six assists, and four steals (WPU had 14 steals overall).
Fouls played a big part in the matchup as well, especially on the visiting side as the Statesmen were whistled for 36 infractions. Jessica Warren (Sr., Park Forest, Ill.) was in line for a nice outing, scoring four points early, but four fouls limited her to only seven minutes.
Brynesha Mosby (So., Belleville, Ill., Biology) added six points off the bench as well.
The Statesmen were mediocre to say the least at the free-throw line last season, but Wednesday’s 18-for-23 effort (78.3%) hopefully is a sign of good things to come.
Next Up: William Penn officially begins the season Friday by traveling to Bourbonnais, Ill. to face Saint Xavier at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Olivet Nazarene Tournament.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage