Although Waynesburg University’s 2019-20 Presidents’ Athletic Conference slate got off to an inauspicious start with a 21 point loss at Grove City last Wednesday, coach Sam Jones left Mercer County feeling encouraged by his teams effort and energy.
In PAC game No. 2, however, the Jackets [1-6, 0-2] fell at Chatham, and Jones left Pittsburgh not feeling encouraged by anything.
Although the Jackets lost by three fewer points then they did Wednesday, falling 88-70, Jones felt his team took a step back.
“I was not happy at all with effort [or the] attention to detail,” Jones said.
Chatham [7-1, 1-1] got 66 of its 88 points from three players. As usual for the Cougars, Emily Ondo and Katiyln Fertig, led the way. Ondo put up 30 points, while Fertig scored 21. Behind that two-headed monster was Riley De’Angelo, who added 15 points.
Ondo and Fertig rank first and second in scoring average for the PAC, and are two of the reasons why Chatham is 7-1.
“They’re both great players,” Jones said. “[Chatham runs] their offense through them. They take a ton of shots, they play with high energy, and they’re both talented. So when you’re talented and you work hard, good things happen.”
For Jones, Chatham’s intensity was where it needed to be, which is something that Waynesburg did not match.
“They played really hard,” he said. “There was a lot of energy.”
Waynesburg held its own against the Cougars early on, and the game was tied at 18 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, however, the Cougars turned it on, outscoring Waynesburg 25-8 and using it to build a lead which they’d take into halftime, 43-26.
The third quarter wasn’t much better for Waynesburg. Chatham won that frame, 28-16 to build a 29-point advantage. The Jackets got a diminutive moral victory by winning the fourth quarter, 28-17, but it was much too little, too late.
For the second game in a row, Brooke Fuller and Zoie Smith were the only Jackets to break double figures, with Fuller scoring 21 points and Smith 12. Fuller added a team-high seven rebounds. Her 21 points were one short of her career high, which took place last season at Chatham. Since Chatham joined the PAC in the 2015-16 season, this is the first time the Cougars have gotten the best of the Jackets on their home court.
With finals week looming, Waynesburg won’t play again until Dec. 16 when they host Westminster. The Titans are 8-0, and Jones cites their intelligence and physicality as reasons why.
“They always play really hard,” Jones said. “They’re a really physical team. They are very disciplined, and they’re playing really well right now… They are playing at a high level, and they always bring a lot of energy and intensity.”
In three words, Jones summed up how he felt about Waynesburg’s performance Saturday afternoon.
“It was unacceptable,” he said.