Glenville State College women tip today in regional

PARKERSBURG – West Virginia Conference regular season champion Glenville State and head coach Bunky Harkleroad received new life when the Pioneers got an at-large berth into the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional.

GSC, ranked 15th in the country and sporting a 26-3 record, is set to square off against No. 14 and defending national champion Shaw (25-4) in today’s noon lidlifter of the Atlantic Regional quarterfinals being held at top-seeded Gannon University.

Glenville State, which was ousted from the WVIAC tournament following a quarterfinal upset loss to Charleston, earned the sixth seed and takes on the third-seeded Bears, who are led by the inside tandem of Taylor Dalrymple and Crystal Harris. The duo has averaged better than 26 points and 15 rebounds a game for Shaw, which leads the country in rebounding margin (+13.8) and is fourth nationally in scoring at 78.6 ppg.

“They are the defending national champs until someone takes is away. They are going to be bigger, faster and stronger than us. That’s a given,” said Harkleroad, whose team leads all of D-II in scoring (95.3 ppg) and 3-pointers made (13.9) per game.

“They’re going to try and pound it inside. We’re going to try and create space to get shots off and drive to get them moving. We have to get the long rebounds off the missed 3s and we have to be a very good us.”

Shaw, winners of six straight, not only ranks 16th in the land in field goal shooting percentage, but the Bears are 21st nationally in field goal percentage defense, allowing teams to only shoot 35 percent. However, one area the Pioneers could find success at deals with the fact Shaw is ranked 264th out of 287 D-II schools in turnovers (22.0) per outing.

“The key is for us to be uptempo, play our style and for us to get up a lot of 3s and force them to take one bad shot and come down the other way,” said Harkleroad, whose team is led in scoring by Ginny Mills (18.3), Kenyona Simmons (15.3) and Ashleigh Fossett (12.8).

“Shaw is very versatile. They’ve got some guards and girls on the wing who in the open court can cause some damage. I think their strength may be a more deliberate halfcourt style.”