The Waynesburg women’s basketball team hit the road to face Houghton Friday night looking for its first win of the 2021-22 season.
The Yellow Jackets (0-3) battled tough throughout the entire game but fell short down the stretch in New York, losing 63-56 against a tough Highlanders (2-1) team.
Waynesburg started off the game on the right foot, taking a 12-8 advantage into the second quarter. The team limited Houghton to under 18% shooting from the field and 0-7 from behind the arc, playing solid defense to hold their opponent under double digits.
The Yellow Jackets held the lead for the majority of first-half action, but a 19-13 Houghton score in the second quarter gave the Highlanders a slight 27-25 leg up on the Yellow Jackets at halftime. Houghton began to improve offensively while Waynesburg came up short offensively in the second quarter shooting a little over 27%, knocking down 3-10 three-point attempts, and failing to score in the last two minutes.
Sophomore guard Avery Robinson guided the Waynesburg offense throughout the day, totaling eight points at halftime.
“I think in the first half we had better ball movement and we stayed calm,” Robinson said.
The Yellow Jackets tangled with a lack of ball security Friday, turning it over 12 times compared to four for Houghton.
Waynesburg did rebound well and continued that trend in the second half. Both teams shot well in the third quarter, but Houghton continued to chip away at the back-and-forth score and go up 47-41 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams shot around 30% in the fourth, creating a small chance for the Yellow Jackets to climb back and create a critical scoring run.
Tied 52-52 with a little over 4 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Houghton outscored Waynesburg 11-4 to secure a 63-56 victory.
“We didn’t take care of the ball,” head coach Sam Jones said. “Too many turnovers.”
Waynesburg showed positive signs, but could not adapt to the Highlanders’ success close to the basket and off the bench. Houghton scored 30 points in the paint compared to Waynesburg’s 16 as well as a 16-4 disparity in bench points.
Robinson led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points and shot 4-10 from behind the three-point line. Senior forward Brooke Fuller recorded a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds, while Anika Dansby grabbed 10 boards of her own.
“Avery kept us in it with some shots, and Brooke was big inside with 15 rebounds,” Jones said.
Jones mentioned details and composure as a key component moving forward for the team to find future success and Robinson mentioned an improved offensive attack.
“We could have had better ball handling, better passes, and run our offense correctly,” Robinson said.
Waynesburg faces a short turnaround playing Penn State Behrend Saturday at 2 p.m. still looking for its first win.