WPU Women’s Basketball Throttles Graceland

Lamoni–A strong defensive effort headlined the William Penn women’s basketball team’s 77-42 victory over Graceland in Heart of America Athletic Conference play Saturday.

WPU (10-4, 4-1 Heart), which is off to its best 14-game start since 2010-2011 (also 10-4), limited the Yellowjackets (4-9, 1-4 Heart) to just 24.5% from the field.

The visitors scored the first 11 points of the afternoon and were off to the races from there. The squad led 23-9 after the opening period and pushed that edge to 24 (41-17) at intermission.

William Penn, which shot 42.2% (37.5% 3-PT), grew its advantage to a game-high 37 points in the third quarter.

A nice chunk of the victors’ offense was produced via its defense as the navy and gold forced 23 turnovers (14 steals), leading to a 30-6 margin in points off turnovers. Both Kate Ylitalo (So., Maple Plain, Minn., Biology) and Sarah Hansen (Sr., Kewanee, Ill., Psychology and Human Services) tallied four thefts Saturday.

Ylitalo was her team’s top scorer with 17 points, including four three-pointers, while Hansen made a trio of trifectas en route to a 15-point showing. Vashti Nwagbaraocha (Jr., Milwaukee, Wis., Exercise Science) joined her teammates in double figures with 12 points; the junior actually had a double-double by corraling 13 rebounds. WPU outrebounded GU 50-35.

Jenna Santi (Jr., Oak Creek, Wis., Elementary Education), who also assisted on seven baskets, matched Tyra Johnson (Jr., Calumet City, Ill., Undecided) with nine points. Johnson was perfect in the matchup, making all three of her field goals and all three of free throws. The Statesmen were 73.7% from the charity stripe.

“We had great effort today!” Head Coach Steve Williamson said. “Our ladies did great on both ends and played Statesmen basketball today!”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa next Wednesday to host Grand View in Heart play at 5:30 p.m.

This coverage was provided as a news release sent to KBOE 104.9FM by Wade Steinlage, William Penn University Sports Information Director.

WPU Men’s Basketball Knocks Off Yellowjackets

Lamoni–In a day full of obstacles to overcome, the Statesmen men’s basketball team did enough to hand Graceland its first Heart of America Athletic Conference setback in a 90-84 win Saturday.

#3 William Penn (14-1, 4-1 Heart) is now tied with the Yellowjackets (10-6, 4-1 Heart) at the top of the North Division standings, doing so with a blistering second half that saw the team shoot 60.7% from the field and 72.7% from behind the arc.

The visitors were slow to get started Saturday, making just two of their first 14 shots. The navy and gold trailed 14-7 seven minutes into play, but rallied back to take the advantage momentarily. Both teams then each enjoyed small runs down the stretch with GU eventually holding a 38-37 edge at the break.

The home squad remained in the lead for the first half of the latter stanza, but the Statesmen got hot from deep with four consecutive three-pointers, including three by Corbin Medley (Sr., Rogersville, Mo., General Accounting). The senior was electric, going 8-for-9 overall, headlined by a 6-for-7 effort from three-point land, for a game-high 22 points off the bench.

“I am very happy for Corbin; it was definitely his night,” Head Coach John Henry said. “It was also great as his parents and grandparents were at the game.”

Graceland responded with six straight of its own to knot the contest at 64-64 with 7:16 to go, but seven unanswered put the navy and gold on top for good. The Statesmen went up by a game-high 10 points at 80-70 with 2:07 to go and held on by connecting their final six free throws. While the last two minutes were excellent, the charity stripe was actually a weak spot for the victors, who finished just 14-for-23 overall.

Surprisingly, William Penn’s 90 points are a season low; the team entered Saturday leading NAIA Division I with 108.4 points per game.

Aakim Saintil (Sr., West Orange, N.J., Business Management) finished just behind Medley in scoring with 21 points as he made five trifectas and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the line. WPU, which outshot GU 50.8%-48.4%, was incredible from deep at 51.9% (14-for-27).

Terrell Thompson (Sr., Indianapolis, Ind., Wellness and Recreation) produced 14 points and dished out a contest-high eight assists. Dominique Shaw (Sr., Lufkin, Texas, Wellness and Recreation), with 12 points, and Mikeal Donaldson (Sr., Columbia, S.C.), with 11, also reached double figures.

JC Washington (Sr., Houston, Texas, Sociology) tallied just four points, but was a major presence on the boards and on defense with team highs in rebounds (7), steals (3), and blocks (2). The Statesmen lost the rebounding battle (36-32) for the first time this year, but were better in turnovers, committing just 10 mistakes (13 for GU). That resulted in a 16-13 mark in points off turnovers.

“This was a great road win for our program,” Henry said. “We overcame a lot tonight, including transportation issues, and we did not play well for most of the game. We fortunately stayed together, made enough shots, and played just enough defense to win.”

Next Up: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa next Wednesday to host Heart rival Grand View in the annual Toilet Paper game at 7:30 p.m. The first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive a free PennZone t-shirt.

This coverage was provided as a news release sent to KBOE 104.9FM by Wade Steinlage, William Penn University Sports Information Director.


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