A Look Back: Cal U Women’s Basketball

My Top 10 moments from a long season

Colin Kirkwood, Sports Editor

After a season ending loss to IUP in the Atlantic Regional Final this past Monday, I felt a reflection of this past season would be a good way to recap the entire season. Seeing just about every game in the season helped in determining this list, and wihtout any further introduction, here is my top 10 list of best moments form the 2018-19 season.

#10 Freshman Impact

Two Freshman earned conference laurels for the Vulcans this year. The first came for Shauna Harrison early in January. The England product posted 12 points in a road contest against Edinboro, and later in the same week chipped in 13 minutes off the bench on the road against Gannon. The second player to secure the honor was Bri Allen. The former Crusader averaged 7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals off the bench during her selection week. 

#9 All-Around Effort vs Cheyney

December 8th was a great day for the Vulcans, as they reached two accomplishments that aren’t normally on a stat sheet for college basketball. California managed to have every player on the roster at the time record a point on the scoresheet. On the flip side, as a team Cheyney was held to only 36 points in the Vulcan victory. Holding a team to 34% from the field is a spectacular feat in my personal opinion. An all-around great effort on both ends of the floor. 

#8 Hahn’s Support Denies Streak 

DJ Hahn had a great supporting role in the PSAC tournament quarterfinals. The junior dropped 11 points off the bench with 9 of those points courtesy of a 3-3 line from behind the arc which got the crowd rocking in the Convocation Center on the way to an 80-68 victory, denying the Lady Knights a run towards the PSAC automatic qualifying bid for capturing the tournament crown. 

#7 Vallecorsa’s Scorching Performance

On November 14th, Junior Gina Vallecorsa had quite the performance on the road against future PSAC East representative Shepherd. Vallecorsa was responsible for 24 points behind the arc, shooting an 8-8 stat line. She also recorded 40 minutes of play, 6 additional points for a total of 30 and 4 rebounds. Cal went on to win the matchup, 78-60.

#6 Jasper Grounds Golden Eagles 

The last game of the regular season was solid effort from Sophomore Bianca Jasper. The Middletown product declared a no fly zone for the Clarion Golden Eagles registering 7 steals in addition to her 18 points. California would grab the victory heading into tournament play, 72-60. 

#5 Barrett Returns to Action

After sitting out the entire previous season with an injury, Senior Seairra Barrett returned to the court at the Convocation Center on November 10th. The All-American torched the West Liberty Hilltoppers in the first game of the season which was part of the MEC/PSAC Challenge, accumulating 41 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. California went on to open the season with a victory, 84-68. 

#4 Bennett’s Happy Homecoming

Freshman Lauren Bennett hadn’t previously started a game as a Vulcan until the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Charleston (WV) at Glenville State College. In her 32 minutes of playtime, Bennett set new career highs across the board, while being cheered on by her hometown fans from neighboring Buckhannon, WV. California would secure a first round victory 82-71 and went on to be a starter for the rest of the tournament run. 

#3 Two Top Five Victories Over IUP

Despite not capturing the big victory, California did sweep the season series against the Crimson Hawks. In the first matchup at IUP, the Crimson Hawks were ranked #1 in the WBCA Top 25 poll when the Vulcans stunned them on their own court by a score of 61-56. Later in the season at home, California beat a #3 ranked Crimson Hawks side, 73-65. It’s not often a team can boast two top upsets like that. 

#2 Sporio’s Tournament Run 

Senior Abbey Sporio played some of the most entertaining basketball I’ve seen while covering Cal U basketball this past weekend. Cutting through multiple defenses with speed, Sporio registered 62 points in three games while snagging a spot on the Atlantic Region All-Tournament Team. 

#1 The Glenville State Victory

In one of the most hostile host venues I’ve experienced while covering playoff basketball. California found a way to defeat the Glenville State Lady Pioneers in overtime while shutting out a rowdy crowd in addition to shutting down the top scoring team in the nation who posted an average score around 103 points. An all-time classic matchup that featured a rollercoaster of emotions, ended with an underdog victory. Hands down a top ten experience in covering Vulcan sports. 

Congratulations to everyone involved on the team for a fantastic season despite coming up a bit short. Good luck to all of the seniors who begin a new adventure and thank you for representing the program. It was a pleasure covering this team for the Cal Times and being the main broadcaster on WCAL. I’m counting down the days until next season begins!