Trailing 29-19 at the halftime break, KU outpaced the Golden Knights 22-8 in the third quarter, taking a 40-37 advantage to the final frame. Facing a two-point deficit in the fourth quarter, down 53-51, Rylee Derr delivered a three-pointer to put the Maroon and Gold on top by one with 3:23 to play. Both sides were deadlocked at 59-all with 1:22 to go, but six made free throws for the Golden Bears down the stretch proved to be the difference in claiming this victory.
Three Kutztown players scored in double-digits in this tilt, with Derr scoring a team-high 14 points on 2-of-5 shooting from distance and going 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. Keifonna Ferguson, who
knocked down four of those six free throws in the final minute, finished with her second double-double in as many games, scoring 12 points and nabbing 14 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive glass. Taylor Thames continued to run the offense effectively, finishing with 13 points, two assists and two steals in 26 minutes of game play.
In support of that trio, Kalee Fuegel knocked down two second-half three-pointers, chipping in six points, shooting an efficient 2-of-3 from the outside. Alexis Smith tallied nine points, going 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, which included a buzzer-beating three to end the first half which seem to energize the offensive effort heading into the third quarter. Fellow freshman Zoe Zerman continued to look comfortable in her second game donning the Maroon and Gold, adding four points, making all four of her free throw attempts.
Similar to the previous day’s contest against Mercyhurst, KU struggled shooting the ball in the first half, making just 5-of-25 attempts and going 2-of-11 from deep. Coming out of the locker room with a renewed liveliness, the Golden Bears went on an 11-2 run to open the third quarter, quickly erasing the double-digit halftime deficit. During that stretch, Thames drove to the hoop at will, scoring eight of the 11 on her own.
The Maroon and Gold continue to display their stifling defensive effort, forcing 23 Gannon turnovers and collecting 10 steals. Outscoring the Golden Knights 20-8 in the paint and shooting 37.8 percent from deep, KU showed its versatility in the scoring department, able to be effective from all areas on the floor.
The win for Kutztown (6-3, 2-2 PSAC) is its fourth in a row and fifth straight at home, evening its record in the PSAC to 2-2 after this weekend’s two-game sweep in conference play.
The Golden Bears will welcome PSAC-foe Seton Hill University to Keystone Arena in their next contest, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.