Defense Clamps Down in Win over Berks

Senior Erica Pendrak scored 12 points with 5 assists and 4 steals as the women's basketball team knocked off Penn State-Berks 57-40 Saturday (photo courtesy of Ed Webber, Keuka College Sports Information department).
Senior Erica Pendrak scored 12 points with 5 assists and 4 steals as the women's basketball team knocked off Penn State-Berks 57-40 Saturday (photo courtesy of Ed Webber, Keuka College Sports Information department).

The Keuka College women's basketball team held Penn State-Berks scoreless for more than 13 minutes en route to a convincing 57-40 win Saturday afternoon inside the Weed Physical Arts Center.

Trailing 15-7 halfway through the opening half, Keuka (3-9, 3-5 NEAC) went on a 25-0 run bridging both halves to pull away and earn the conference win.

Senior Erica Pendrak (New Hartford, N.Y./New York Mills) scored 12 points with 5 assists and 4 steals, and classmate Brittany Hadley (Jasper, N.Y./Jasper-Troupsburg) added 12 points for the Wolfpack, who shot 42.3 percent (11 of 26) in building a 28-15 halftime lead.

Hadley connected on 55.6 percent of her shots (5 of 9), while Pendrak shot 50 percent (5 of 10) in reaching double-figures for the seventh time in the last eight games.

Sophomore Katie Stuart (Tupper Lake, N.Y./Tupper Lake) added nine points with seven rebounds, while classmate Samantha Blum (Niskayuna, N.Y./Colonie) contributed seven rebounds as Keuka outrebounded Berks (0-12, 0-8) 40-27.

The Green and Gold collected a season-high 18 offensive rebounds and had 11 different student-athletes score in the win.

"It feels great to get a win. We just came in ready to play and did the little things that we needed to do to win," Pendrak said. "Everyone was working together and it wasn't just one person that was always scoring. We had really good penetration and kick-outs and got that one extra pass looking for the open man and getting into the gaps. We really needed this win and we're just going to keep it going for our upcoming games."

Berks led 15-7 on a steal and a layup from Shanelle Kock with 9:44 remaining before Keuka clamped down and went on the game-changing run.

Hadley hit a triple, Pendrak hit a layup and Blum knocked down a jumper to close the deficit to 15-14.

Sophomore Mackenzie Cole (Ogdensburg, N.Y./Ogdensburg Free Academy) then buried a '3', and Pendrak and sophomore Tally McDonald (Romulus, N.Y./Romulus) each made layups before Stuart went on her own 7-0 run.

During the spurt, Stuart drained a '3' and hit back-to-back layups as the Wolfpack took a 28-15 lead into halftime thanks to a 21-0 run to close out the half. A stingy Green and Gold defense held Berks scoreless for the final 9:44 of the half.

The scoreless spell continued over the first 2:39 of the second, and Keuka's lead swelled to 32-15 after a layup from Hadley and a pair of free throws from senior Amanda Kubitz (Spencerport, N.Y./E.J. Wilson).

Hadley hit back-to-back layups, Kubitz and junior Meghan Ideman (Moravia, N.Y./Moravia) each added '3s' and Pendrak got a steal and drove in for the layup as Keuka enjoyed its largest lead, 44-19 with 14:53 remaining.

The Wolfpack maintained at least a 15-point lead the rest of the game in winning for the second time in their last three games.

"We wrote 'Take pride in your defense' on the board before today's game and we wanted to limit Berks, which came in averaging 54 points per game, to 48 today," said Sarah Gaffney, Keuka's first-year head coach.

"We definitely kept them under their season average and we took pride in our defense today. Our pressure was great; we forced quite a few turnovers (18) and had a couple of tips, especially from our guards. Offensively, I'm proud of how unselfish we were. We put the ball on the floor and created for other people."

Shannelle Koch led the Nittany Lions with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Keuka returns to action Wednesday night with a 6 p.m. NEAC clash against Wells College.