The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

The Cal Times student news is a publication of the Student Association Inc. at California University of Pennsylvania

Cal Times

Get the Cal Times delivered to your Inbox!


Vulcans Take Care of Business at Home, Defeat Clarion 95-66

Recap of Clarion Golden Eagles @ California Vulcans (2/14)
Nathan Kurtz
(From left) Donald Whitehead Jr., Keith Palek, KJ McClurg, and Zyan Collins

The California Vulcans were set to face off against the Golden Eagles of Clarion in a PSAC West matchup on Wednesday night, February 14, in the Convocation Center in California. A tale of two sides, as California entered the game winners of eight of their last nine games, and Clarion came in losers of eight of their last nine games.  The Vulcans came into the game ranked #14 in Division 2 basketball, and hold a 2.5 game lead for the #2 seed in the PSAC West, trailing only Gannon who have won their last 11 games. Clarion, on the other hand, is on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention amid a loss tonight, as Mercyhurst holds a 3 game lead over them for the last playoff spot.

The game started out more competitive than one would have thought, but both teams struggled from the offensive side of the floor early, especially from behind the arc. The two teams combined to shoot 5-33 (15%) from three point range in the first half, with both teams hovering around 35% overall. Going into halftime, California held an eight point lead, 37-29. 

The second half started with Clarion going on a small 11-6 run, with Jayson Harris making the bucket to cut the lead down to three, but Harris believed he got fouled and said something to the referee that resulted in him picking up a technical, and it didn’t stop there. He proceeded to utter words to the referees as he was whistled for three first half fouls as well, and it cost him the rest of the game as he got a double technical and was thrown out of the game. This resulted in four free throws and the ball for California, where KJ McClurg made all four and then proceeded to get fouled on a three pointer on the following position, as he managed to make seven free throws in just over 14 seconds of play, increasing California’s lead to 10.

California would continue to pour it on in the second half as they scored as many points in the first ten minutes of the second half as they did in the whole first half, as they outscored Clarion 37-17 in that frame. The scoring for the Vulcans was much more spread out this game, as KJ led the way with 22, followed by Zyan Collins and Donald Whitehead Jr., who both had 17 points individually.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s really on the defensive end,” said Whitehead when asked about what has built this team’s confidence as of late. “We got a lot of stops, caused a lot of turnovers, and that allowed for better opportunities on the offensive end. Having discipline on the defensive end allows us to have whatever we want on the offensive end.”

Whitehead has continued to blossom in his second year of play, as he has become an every night starter on this team and creates opportunities for himself and his teammates in more ways than one. He was able to score 13 of his 17 points in the second half of the game, making three shots from behind the arc. 

“We knew we were taking good shots in the first half, they just weren’t falling,” said Whitehead. “It happens to everyone, sometimes your shots just aren’t falling. We had to just keep shooting and we knew we’d eventually find it, and we did, and that really got the job done for us tonight.”

California outscored Clarion by 21 in the second half to pull away and win comfortably with the final score 95-66. The Vulcans improve to 21-3 on the season and 14-3 in conference play following the victory, and will have a week-long break from action before traveling to Pitt-Johnstown to take on the Mountain Cats next Wednesday, February 21. 

The Clarion Golden Eagles fall to 7-17 on the season, with a 5-13 record in conference play. They would need a miracle at this point to make the playoffs, as they find themselves 3.5 games out of the sixth seed in the West with only four games to play. They will travel to Gannon on Saturday, February 17 to take on the top-ranked Golden Knights.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Andrew White
Andrew White, Sports Editor

Andrew White is the Sports Editor and serves as a staff writer for the CalTimes.  He has a deeply engraved passion for sports and loves to inform the community about the local teams, both on and off campus. He is a Senior here at PennWest California, majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Management.

Growing up in Brownsville, PA, Andrew is a die-hard Yinzer and will always have a place in his heart for the city of Pittsburgh and where he came from.  He serves as a play-by-play commentator for California’s basketball teams and hopes to land a career in Broadcasting, Public Relations, or Media Writing down the line, with his main goal being finding success as a play-by-play commentator.

Andrew is involved in CUTV, WCAL, CalTimes, and dips his hands in some graphic design work as well. He will be graduating in May and looks forward to his next steps of his career past PennWest California. He is the son of Tami and Stephen White of Brownsville, PA.

Nathan Kurtz
Nathan Kurtz, Staff Writer/Photographer
Class 2026 Sports Management Major. Sports photographer and member of CUTV and WCAL

Comments (0)

All Cal Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *