Struggle against Westminster ends in loss


Despite an improved defensive effort since its last game, the Franciscan University women’s basketball team fell 75-53 to the visiting Westminster College Titans.

The Lady Barons jumped out to an early 5-2 lead, behind a layup and an uncontested 3-point shot, both from sophomore guard Raegan Stead. Stead has provided a consistent source of points for Franciscan during her first three games of the season.

The Westminster Titans responded well, capping a thirteen point run with a 3-point shot by senior guard Rachel Durbin, to lead 15-5. Durbin recorded four 3-point shots on the day in 32 minutes played, crippling Franciscan’s attempts to defend both the outside perimeter and the basket.

Just before the conclusion of the first quarter, Durbin and freshman guard Kaitlyn Sonneberger would trade 3-point shots, and the Lady Barons would find themselves down 22-14.

Stead started the second quarter intent on minimizing the deficit, knocking down four free throws, a layup, and a 3-pointer in just over five minutes, until Franciscan was down just six points. However, after Stead’s scoring barrage, the Lady Barons would not score again in the quarter; that scoring drought contributed to their 37-25 halftime hole.

After halftime performances by baton-twirler Clarice Orteza, and by the Franciscan University Baronettes, the Lady Barons could not seem to correct their first-half defensive mistakes. They surrendered 24 points, the most allowed of any quarter, only registering 14 of their own. Jackie Mathews, a Titan sophomore guard, scored a buzzer-beating layup to give Westminster a 61-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Franciscan played tight lock-down defense in the fourth quarter, giving up just 14 points to their non-conference opponents. Behind senior forward Bernadette Roach’s defensive blocks and eleven points from the hands of freshman guard Abby Baierl, the Lady Barons scored 14 points of their own, before the final buzzer handed Westminster College the victory, 75-53.

“We’re working through some adversity right now …. But the ladies are continuing to play hard and make improvements,” said Head Coach Suzy Delaney. “We have much to work on, but this team is up to the task.”

After a stretch of road competition, the Lady Barons’ next home game will take place on Dec. 3, when Franciscan faces off against conference opponent Penn. State-Behrend, at 2 p.m.