EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – A big first half lifted the Bloomsburg women’s basketball team to a 61-52 win over East Stroudsburg during a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) contest Wednesday evening.
The Huskies (3-9, 1-7 PSAC) were able to get out to a 33-18 lead at the half thanks to a hot shooting performance and some stifling defense in the first and second quarters. Bloomsburg shot the ball 52% (12-23) in the first half and limited East Stroudsburg (8-6, 4-4 PSAC) to a 32% field goal percentage during the first two frames in order to grab its double-digit lead, and the Huskies were able to hang on to their advantage throughout the second half despite a late comeback effort by ESU.
Bloomsburg’s big first half was sparked by a brilliant performance by Kelly Leszcynski (Narareth, Pa./Nazareth), who nearly outscored the Warriors single-handedly. Leszcynski scored 15 of her 16 points in the half, and that included four three-point field goals. Leszcynski’s performance was backed by Abby Brown (Phillipsburg, N.J./Bethlehem Catholic) and Emma Gochnauer (Strasburg, Pa./Lampeter-Strasburg), who also both finished in double figures. Brown had 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds while Gochnauer had 10 points in 26 minutes off the bench.
Though the first half belonged to Bloomsburg, it was East Stroudsburg getting out to a great start following the opening tip. The Warriors scored the first seven points of the game to gain a three-possession lead four minutes into the contest. From that point, however, the Huskies would go on a 15-2 scoring run and led ESU by six points at the end of the quarter. The second quarter played out similarly with the Warriors cutting Bloomsburg’s lead to 20-15 early on in the frame, and then the Huskies closed out the half on a 13-3 scoring run to go back up by double-digits before the half. Both teams matched each other’s offensive pace in the third quarter, but East Stroudsburg would get a chance to cut into its deficit more in the fourth. Trailing by 14 points going into the fourth, ESU began the quarter on a 13-4 run to make it a five-point game with 4:16 remaining.
However, a clutch score by Bloomsburg’s Ella Kale (Spring Grove, PA/Spring Grove) momentarily put a halt to ESU’s scoring run by putting the Huskies back up by three possessions, and the Warriors were unable to get back within five points as Bloomsburg held on for a nine-point win. Kale finished the game with eight points, three rebounds, and one assist. Katie Starr (Berwick, PA/Berwick) had eight boards and six points, and Allison Hileman (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) had five points and two rebounds. Megan Fisher (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) tallied five rebounds and four points in 19 minutes.
For East Stroudsburg, Ryan Weise led all players with 25 points. She was the team’s only player in double figures as Shyla Sanford was ESU’s next leading scorer with eight points. A major factor in Bloomsburg’s win was the team’s ability to take advantage of East Stroudsburg’s miscues on offense. The Huskies were able to turn 13 Warrior turnovers into 23 points. Additionally, Bloomsburg scored 13 second-chance points in the contest. Bloomsburg will return to the court on Saturday with a home contest against Shepherd (0-13, 0-8 PSAC). The game is scheduled to tip off at 1:00 PM.