Win over Stevenson solidifies playoff berth for Blue Jays

Sam Ceron February 13, 2013 0

The Elizabethtown College women’s basketball team will face Lycoming College next week in the first round of Commonwealth Conference tournament play. After beating the Stevenson University Mustangs Tuesday night 66-43, the Blue Jays secured the fourth seed in the postseason standings. First-year Rachel Forjan led Etown with 16 points, and junior Taylor Alwine collected 12 rebounds in the win.
Last Wednesday, the team played against the Widener Pride, who was one spot ahead of them in conference play and had already clinched a postseason berth. After the Blue Jays took a 34-31 lead at the half, it was the Pride who came back hard in the second half.
With 11 minutes left in the game, the Pride scored ten unanswered to put them up 54-44 with less than ten minutes remaining. With under six minutes remaining in the game, the Blue Jays made it very interesting with eight answered points of their own to cut the deficit and make it 65-61 with four minutes left in the contest.
However, the deficit was too much to overcome for the Blue Jays as free throws in the final few minutes sealed the victory for the Pride with a final score of 75-69. Although junior Kendra Biettel was spectacular with a game high 24 points on 10-17 shooting, free throws were costly as the Blue Jays finished 4-14 on the night. The Pride also outscored the Blue Jays 17-8 on second chance points and 35-17 from the bench.
The team turned their luck around on Saturday against the Hood College team that was last in the conference. Even with their record, Hood played up to the Blue Jays, as it was tied at 24 at the half. The Jays could not get the baskets to fall in the first half as they went 10-24, shooting under 30 percent from the field and only making one 3-pointer.
In the second half, it was all Blue Jays as the team turned it up a notch. The team went on a 15-2 run to start the second half with the help of Beittel, senior Katy Fogel, and junior Taylor Kreider. Sophomore Erika Ferro had a fantastic all-around performance off the bench for the Blue Jays as she finished with seven points, six rebounds, and four steals on the night. Free throws were key in the victory for the Blue Jays in the second half as they went 13-17 from the line.
Since their loss at York (Pa.) to start off 2013, the team has gone 9-4, including a seven game winning streak, highlighted by their win at fifth-ranked Messiah on Jan. 23. With a win in one of their last two conference games, the Blue Jays will have earned a postseason berth for the second straight season.
The team has made major strides over the course of the season and a large part is due to the way the team played as a whole in order to improve in conference play. “At the beginning of the season it took us a little bit to get to know each other. We got an all new coaching staff and new players as well. I believe that is why it took us a little bit to get going,” Kreider said.
Beittel feels the same way as Kreider. “One of the biggest changes that we made was just the idea of playing as a whole. That in order to turn the season around we really had to come together as one and trust in each other to get the job done,” Beittel said.

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