ERIE, Pa. – The Glenville State College women’s basketball team opened the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region quarterfinals here Friday afternoon by blasting defending national champion Shaw University, 111-86.
The sixth-seeded Pioneers (27-3) now take on No. 7 seed California, Pa. (21-8) – an 80-72 upset winner versus No. 2 seed Edinboro – at 5 p.m. today back inside the Hammermill Center.
Head coach Bunky Harkleroad’s GSC squad, known for its fast-paced offense, didn’t disappoint as the nation’s highest scoring team broke the century mark for the 13th time this season in eliminating the third-seeded Bears (25-5).
The Pioneers scored 55 points in the first half and topped that by one in the final 20 minutes. Of the Pioneers’ 82 shots from the field, 51 were 3-point attempts, and 21 of those went in – an NCAA Division II postseason record – including eight from Kenyell Goodson, who accounted for a game-high 24 points without shooting a two-point field goal or a free throw. Goodson was one made 3 shy of tying the national postseason mark.
GSC, which suffered a lopsided 102-55 defeat on Nov. 17 at California, broke the previous record of 18 set by Oakland in 1996 when Ginny Mills drained the Pioneers’ 19th triple with 5:11 left to play as the Bears trailed 95-76.
“I think our team played focused today and I was really proud of them,” Harkleroad said. “It was just a good all-around effort. Cal has a terrific basketball team and manhandled us earlier this year. We should have a bit of motivation and we should be ready to go.
“We wanted to redeem ourselves somewhat by playing better than we did in Charleston and I certainly think we can approach the Cal game with the same mindset. We didn’t play very well and they played very well and they beat us to death.”
The Pioneers fell behind early, finally erasing Shaw’s advantage on a Goodson 3-pointer with 15:46 left in the first half to knot the score at 11 apiece.
At the 14:16 mark, Ashleigh Fossett drained – what else?- a 3-pointer – to give Glenville a 14-11 lead and the Pioneers led for the rest of the afternoon.
GSC turned it on and when Jessica Parsons made a trey with 10:58 left in the half the Pioneers led 29-13 and the rest of this contest was for show. And make no mistake, Glenville put on quite a show.
The Pioneers, ranked 15th in the latest USA Today NCAA Division II Coaches Poll, placed five players in double figures. Mills followed Goodson in the GSC scoring parade with 20 points, Fossett added 13 and Briauna Nix and Kenyona Simmons had 12 points each. Nix also grabbed six boards and blocked two shots while point guard Jelena Elez finished with a game-high 10 assists.
Shaw, which entered the game as the nation’s No. 16 team, displayed a balanced attack and also had five players reach double figures, led by 16 points from Crystal Harris. Isayra Diaz and Taylor Dalrymple added 14 points each, Adana David had 13 and Crystal Wilson 10.
Shaw managed to put some suspense into the outcome when Dalrymple scored at the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to 10, 55-45, at intermission.
When David scored on a layup just seven seconds into the second half, Shaw had reduced the margin to a single-digit number. It actually got as close as seven with 16 minutes to go, but Glenville starting bombing home 3s and made sure the outcome never was in serious doubt.
Coach Harkleroad said the biggest key for tonight’s contest is for the Pioneers “to just go out and play our game. We can’t allow Cal to get easy baskets. We have to contest everything and knock down some shots.”
If Glenville wins today, it will advance to Monday’s regional championship game and be one of just 16 teams still alive in the quest for the Division II national title, to be decided on March 29 at the Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas. The Final Four games from that venue will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.