Women’s basketball picks up first PAC victory at Geneva

It was a long time coming. 

For the first time in nearly 11 months, the Waynesburg University women’s basketball team won a Presidents’ Athletic Conference contest, and did so in exciting fashion, beating Geneva, 93-76, in Beaver Falls. 

It was the first time the Yellow Jackets [2-10, 1-3]  won a game of any sort since their win over Houghton in non-conference play Nov. 22. For coach Sam Jones, it was the happiest he’s been after a game in a long time.

“It was definitely something that we needed, and the girls did a great, great job today,” Jones said.

The 93 points were the most Waynesburg has scored since last January, when the Jackets scored the same total in a win over Westminster. The key to Saturday’s success was moving the basketball.

Waynesburg assisted on 29 of its 35 baskets, led by Erin Joyce and Elena McDermott, who had 10 and eight dishes respectively, each career highs. 

Scoring wise, Andrea Orlosky bounced back from what’s been a rocky start to her junior season with possibly the best game of her collegiate career, setting career highs in both points [21] and rebounds [15]. Coming into the game, Orlosky was averaging just 8.5 points a night, well down from last season, when she was among the conference leaders in scoring.

“She looked a lot like she looked last year, which was aggressive with the ball, taking it to the rim, getting to the foul line, rebounding,” Jones said. “Yes, she had a really good night for us.”

Also contributing to the party were Brooke Fuller [19], Kacey Kastroll [14] and Alli DeLaney [14]. Fuller also added nine rebounds. 

Without freshman Zoie Smith in the front court, the guards, such as DeLaney, Joyce and Kastroll picking up the slack was much appreciated, Jones said.

“We needed that from our guards, and they stepped up,” he said. “Especially with Zoie not playing today, we needed to get some points from other places.”

Smith’s status going forward is uncertain. 

The first half was competitive, with the Jackets taking a 49-46 lead into the break. Delaney led the way offensively, with 10 of her 14 points coming in the first 20 minutes. For Geneva, three players broke double figures in the first half, led by Lauren Tipton, who scored 16 of her 23 before the break. 

In the second half, however, the Jackets turned it on, outscoring the Golden Tornadoes, 44-30 to coast to a double-digit win. 

Although Jones said he’d take wins any way he can get them, Saturday also highlighted some of Waynesburg’s weaknesses. The Jackets have struggled with taking care of the basketball all season, and turned it over 24 times Saturday, albeit while getting 20 turnovers on the other end. 

Waynesburg also won the rebounding battle, picking up a season-high 65 boards.

“We have to continue to win the battle of the boards, and take better care of the basketball,” Jones said. 

Waynesburg returns to out of conference play Wednesday, Jan. 8 when it takes on Division II Malone on the road. For Jones, the key to getting wins going forward will be to continue to move the basketball the way it did tonight. 

“We weren’t timid with the ball,” he said. “We attacked, and had a great attack mentality, which is something that we talked about. Our ball movement was phenomenal tonight.”