Women’s basketball steals victory at the buzzer

In the final contest of the 2017 calendar year, the Waynesburg University women’s basketball team defeated Frostburg State, 64-61 on a buzzer beater by senior guard MacKenna Drazich.

“We set up a lob play with a secondary option of [Mackenna] getting the screen coming across.  They didn’t cover [Mackenna], so it was a pretty easy decision for the in-bounder and there was 0.9 seconds left on the clock so we didn’t have a lot of time,” said head coach Sam Jones.

That shot came right after a layup by junior point guard Monica Starre which knotted the game up at 61 before Jones called the timeout to set up the game-winning shot.

“[MacKenna] caught the ball and turned and shot, the buzzer went off and it bounced around a little bit and then went through the hoop,” said Jones. “It was a great shot and a great win.”

Bringing a win back to campus, the Yellow Jackets are now at 7-4 overall and 3-1 in the PAC. According to Jones, the women improved the ball movement as well as some mental obstacles during different parts of the game.

“We had a lot of assists, we 20 assists, so I was pretty happy with our ball movement. In the first half, we played a pretty good half with four turnovers and out rebounded them,” said Jones. “I was very pleased with our resilience and mental toughness, because we went on a drought of five or six minutes without a basket, which let [Frostburg State] get back into it.”

Senior leadership continued from forward Addy Knetzer who scored 14 points before fouling out as well as Drazich, who in addition to hitting the game winning shot, notched a team high 21 points. Senior guard Rachel Eng also contributed by shooting 80 percent from the field and playing 36 minutes that included many tough defensive stands.

“They are three of our hardest workers and most consistent players. The last four games [Eng] has drawn the toughest defensive assignment, [Eng] sort of knows that she is going to get the big stud of the other team,” said Jones. “They have played a lot of games [together], over their past three years. They are pushing 100 plus games pretty soon.”

Saturday’s game concluded the non-conference portion of the schedule for the women’s team.  Jones is excited to head back into conference action, but realizes that there will be familiar challenges that arise through the next portion of the schedule.

“The PAC is a tough, tough conference. There are no easy nights and there is that familiarity that people have with each other,” said Jones. “You get to know each other’s tendencies, you know players really well and you’re not giving new information to your players, they know who these teams are. We will play attention more to the little stuff, because there are no secrets.  We have to prepare and pay attention to details.”

The Yellow Jackets will bring in the new year with their first contest of 2018 on Wednesday, when they travel to Pittsburgh for a match against Chatham. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.