PREVIEW: Women’s Basketball Looks to Keep Streak Alive at Bloomsburg

1/4/2019 | Women’s Basketball

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The Kutztown University women’s basketball has been playing its best basketball of the season of late, sporting a three-game win streak, its longest such streak since last season. KU will look to make it four when it travels to take on Bloomsburg University in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division showdown tomorrow, Saturday, at 1 p.m. at Nelson Field House.

The Golden Bears (6-7 overall, 4-2 PSAC) are winners of three straight and currently sit atop the East Division, along with the Huskies (8-5, 4-2), who have lost three-of-four.

These two teams have seen each other quite a bit over the last two seasons. They met twice last year during the regular season, splitting the contests with each home team winning. KU and BU also squared off in the first round of the PSAC Tournament last Feb. at Keystone Arena, as the Maroon and Gold came out on top to advance to the quarterfinals. Bloomsburg also competed in the KU Conference Challenge tournament to open up the season.

Kutztown has defeated Holy Family (Jan. 2), West Chester (Dec. 29) and Gannon (Dec. 19) by a combined 10 points as it continued its streak of scoring at least 66 points in each of the last six games. The KU defense, which ranks fifth in the PSAC, allowing just 63.7 points per game (ppg), has given up less over its current win streak, 61.6 ppg. KU’s full-court pressure and defensive intensity has helped create turnovers and east transition looks on the opposite end. Kalee Fuegel seems to always be around the ball and is tied for fourth in the PSAC with 30 steals.

The Golden Bears rank fourth in the conference with 7.3 made three-pointers per game. One of the main contributors to those numbers is sophomore Rylee Derr. Derr is averaging 18.3 ppg, eighth-best in the PSAC, an increase of 4.7 ppg from her freshman campaign. Derr has made 40 three-pointers this season, tops in the PSAC. She has scored a total of 50 points over the last two contests.

Karen Lapkiewicz has found a groove over the last couple of weeks. Her 10.2 ppg is a career-high by 2.7 ppg for the junior, and ranks second on the team. Brianna Tarabocchia ranks in the top-20 in the league with 7.0 rebounds per game.

Bloomsburg has three players averaging in double-figures, including Alyssa Mack (14.5 ppg), Taylor Montana (12.9) and Emma Saxton (11.1).

The Huskies have played seven common opponents with Kutztown this season. They defeated Fayetteville State, Lincoln, Pitt-Johnstown, Gannon and Mercyhurst. They fell to IUP and Holy Family, the team that KU beat 68-56 in its last game this past Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Still somewhat early in PSAC-play, this first-place showdown could go a long way in determining high seeding in the postseason.

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