Clarion University Women’s Basketball: Golden Eagles Fall on the Road to Malone
CANTON, Ohio – The Golden Eagle women’s basketball team fell behind in the first quarter and was unable to make up enough ground the rest of the way to come back, falling by an 87-63 score to Malone at Osborne Hall on Wednesday afternoon.
Clarion (1-4) kept it tight with the Pioneers after a rough first period but could not gain ground on their opponent for the remainder.
Sierra Bermudez, fresh off the heels of a record-breaking performance on Monday, was again the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer. She finished with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Unlike the team’s win over Penn State – Shenango, she primarily did her damage inside the arc, going 8-of-11 from short range. Bermudez also tied the game-high with six rebounds.
The Golden Eagles were lights out from the field in the final 30 minutes of action, going 23-of-43 (.535) after the first quarter. The difference came in that opening period, though, with the Pioneers shooting 71.4 percent from the field in the first quarter and holding Clarion to just a 25.0 percent field goal percentage. Malone also held a slim lead in the rebounding game, grabbing 33 boards off the glass compared to just 29 for Clarion.
The Pioneers led 24-6 after the first quarter, though the Golden Eagles went nearly point-for-point with them in the second to maintain the gap. Bermudez stripped Holly Groff and took the ball the other way for a transition bucket, making it 30-11 with 7:13 remaining in the second quarter. Malone maintained that roughly 20-point lead throughout the end of the first half, though Jada Smith hit a short jumper with 19 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 42-24 at the break.
Malone made that lead hold up for the rest of the game, though Clarion cut the lead to as low as 16 points in the fourth quarter. Abby Gatesman made a pair of free throws at the 6:06 mark of the quarter to make it 72-54, and Smith made a jumper in the paint to draw the Golden Eagles to within 16 points with 5:07 remaining in regulation. They got no closer, though, as the Pioneers maintained the lead for the win.
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