CALIFORNIA (Nov. 28) – Behind one of the strongest defense performances in school history, the California University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team cruised to a 67-28 victory against Molloy (N.Y.) on Sunday afternoon in the second day of the Thanksgiving Tournament at Hamer Hall.
With the victory, the Vulcans move to 3-1 this season after winning both tournament games this weekend. Meanwhile, the Lions remain winless at 0-6 this year.
The 28 points is the lowest single-game total allowed by Cal U in recent program history (since 2002-03). For the game, the Vulcans allowed the Lions to shoot only 16.4 percent (9-of-55) from the field and just 10.0 percent (2-of-20) from beyond the arc. In the first half, Cal U held Molloy to only 10 points after it made just four shots from the floor.
Junior guard Danielle Lucket (Chicago, Ill./James Hubert Blake (Md.)) led the team with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. In four games this year, the 5-5 junior is scoring 12.3 points per game after averaging just 2.9 points in her first two seasons. Luckett also added three steals in 24 minutes against the Lions.
Senior forward Kayla Smith (Elkins, W.Va./Elkins) registered her second-straight double-double, finishing with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds (seven offensive). Junior forward Amy Johns (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) also added 13 points and three steals, while sophomore guard Megan Kermond (Adelaide, Australia/Unley) scored 10 points off the bench.
Holding an early one-point lead, the Vulcans scored 11-straight points and held the Lions scoreless for a stretch of over 11 minutes to take an 18-6 lead on a three-pointer by freshman guard Ryah Gadson (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport). After Molloy snapped its scoreless streak at the 5:26-mark, Cal U later scored the final seven points of the first half in the final 4:04 to take a 27-10 lead at the break.
After halftime, Cal U mounted a 10-0 run in the first 2:01 of the second half to take a 37-10 lead after forcing Molly into four early turnovers. Leading 37-14, the Vulcans engineered a 19-2 rally over a six-minute span to take a 56-16 lead on a putback lay-up by freshman guard Kate Seebohm (Millicent, Australia/Millicent). Cal U eventually stretched its lead to as many as 41 points, 67-26, when Seebohm hit a three-pointer.
The Vulcans finished the game shooting 39.2 percent (29-of-74) from the floor after making nearly 53 percent of its shots in the second half. Cal U held an incredible 61-38 advantage on the glass with 23 offensive rebounds resulting in 13 second-chance points. The Vulcans also forced the Lions into 26 turnovers and collected 15 steals, including three each by Gadson, Johns and Luckett.
In the loss, sophomore Ashley Addison and senior Caitlin Wheeler each led the Lions with seven points. Freshman forward Jessica DeNicola finished with six points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Vulcans return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 1, when they host District of Columbia at 6 p.m.