Led by one of the best guards in the conference, Jenna Lafko, Saint Vincent got off to a hot offensive start with 28 points in the first quarter and leading Waynesburg 28-20. The start was particularly damaging for Waynesburg coach Sam Jones, who said the game plan was defensively focused.
“[It was] to make them work hard for shots, execute our stuff, and win the battle on the boards,” he said.
The contest ended up going back and forth for all four quarters. Waynesburg cut the deficit to seven in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to senior Ali Delaney, who scored 12 points in the final frame, leading to her career high of 22 points. Jones was pleased with Delaney’s ability to shoot the three ball and drive towards the basket.
“She got to the hoop a couple more times and was hitting threes, so she was scoring from all areas of the floor,” he said.
In the end, Waynesburg’s 86 points, which is the second most this season, weren’t enough to take down first place St. Vincent. Although the Jackets put up 86 points, the defense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. Waynesburg gave up 96 total points, allowing the Bearcats to shoot 48% from the field and allowing 50 points in the paint.
St. Vincent also played fast the entire game. Whether it was transitioning to offense after a defensive rebound, setting up a second chance following an offensive rebound, or swarming the ball on defense to force turnovers, the Jackets just couldn’t keep up.
Jones believes his team can play a quicker style, but a lack of focus at times disrupted that ability throughout the night.
“Our team is fine on a fast paced game, there were definitely times that they burned us but I think that was because of a lack of focus on our part,” he said.
With this loss, the Jackets have fell in three straight contests, and their record drops to a concerning 2-13 overall and 1-5 in the conference. Waynesburg plays its next game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday against the last placed Thiel Tomcats at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.