The Elizabethtown College women’s basketball team’s successful season was unfortunately cut short Wednesday night as the team fell to Lebanon Valley College in the Commonwealth Conference semifinal game 69-47. Sophomore Kendra Beittel scored 16 points in the loss. The key factor in this evenly-matched game was fouls — Etown’s 19 fouls translated into 19 points for LVC, while the Blue Jays only picked up eight points from free throws.
Last week, the Blue Jays had two exciting games. The first was played Feb. 14 in Thompson Gym against the Lycoming College Warriors. It was Head Coach Yvonne Kauffman’s last home game, nearing the end of her career of 42 years. The second game was played against Etown’s rivals, the Messiah Falcons, on Feb. 18. This was the Blue Jays’ final regular-season game.
The last time the Jays played the Warriors, the game ended extremely close. The Blue Jays won by a mere 2 points. Coming into this game, they knew they had their work cut out for them.
The Blue Jays played hard right from the beginning and never gave up the lead. Sophomore Taylor Kreider was a key player in the game. She registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. When asked if this being Kauffman’s last home game affected how they played, Kreider said, “We wanted her to go out on a good note, so we really wanted to play good for her.”
Although Lycoming was not able to pull ahead, they trailed very closely behind the Jays. With four minutes left in the first half, Lycoming started to close the gap, bringing the score to a nail-biting 17-16. The Blue Jays played hard defense, however, and with two and a half minutes left, senior Stephanie Ellwood shot a three-pointer, bringing the score to 20-16. This was one of the many threes Ellwood would shoot during the game. Ellwood also registered a double-double, scoring all 12 of her points from behind the 3-point line and grabbing 11 rebounds. By the end of the first half, the Jays were ahead 21-19.
When the Jays came back out for the second half, they held their ground. Midway through the second half the Warriors had only scored 7 points. Meanwhile, the Jays had scored 16, increasing the score to 37-26. The Blue Jays kept a comfortable lead for the rest of the game and ended the game with a score of 55-41. Not only did Kauffman receive a win in her final home game, but the court was named in her honor.
Although the Jays played well on Tuesday, they knew their Saturday game versus Messiah would be a little more work. However, they were hopeful. “I think we will do a lot better this time around,” sophomore Rachel Fuehrer said. “The team has really improved throughout the season, and we have the drive to win. I think we need to come out more aggressive this time playing Messiah and not turn the ball over. If we can do those things, I think we will be fine.”
The Blue Jays put up a good fight in the first half of the game. Although Messiah took the lead early on, Etown was always close behind. Midway through the first half the Jays were able to tie up the score, 13-13. However, the Falcons pulled ahead, ending the first half 31-24. After halftime, the Jays came back out ready to go. Junior Nadine Yunginger jump-started the second half. Only four minutes into the half, the Jays again tied up the score, 35-35. With determination, Etown pulled ahead and began to take the lead. With about ten minutes left, the score was 50-41. However, Messiah wasn’t backing down and with four minutes left, they took a lead they never gave up and won the game 63-57.