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.


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