INDIANA, Pennsylvania— IUP women’s basketball started the 2022-23 season on a four-game winning streak with a 79-61 wire-to-wire win over a pesky Dominican team from Ohio on Thanksgiving Eve at KCAC.
IUP (4-0) placed five players in double figures and had two double-double performances. Alan Cardona lost 16 points (8-13 FG) with 10 rebounds and added two assists and a block. Cardona scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half, helping the Crimson Hawks to a 42-28 rebound advantage.
Terra Preston recorded the second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was part of an even night for the home side Hawks Kiera Baughman ended with 16 points and seven steals. Gina Adams and Maria Cerro finished with 14 points each, with Adams catching eight rebounds on the night.
Gabby Stare accumulated 37 points for Ohio Dominican (2-3), marking her second 30-point performance of the week and third of the season for the Panthers. Stare went off the floor 14 of 20, shot five three-point baskets and accounted for over 60% of all offensive power for ODU.
Stare recorded 21 of her 37 points before halftime for an ODU squad that couldn’t come back despite a late push in the fourth. IUP shot 45.2% off the floor as a team and had a season-best of eight triples, nearly equaling the season’s total (9) while entering the competition.
Despite the win, IUP struggled to avoid each other at times with sloppy play and missed defensive duties. The Hawks fought past 18 turnovers and forced 21 turnovers from ODU, amassing 13 steals on the night.
Back-to-back threes from Adams and Baughman helped IUP take a quick 12-2 lead just under three minutes into the contest. The Panthers started closing the gap before IUP extended his lead to 11 through a steal from Adams and a go-ahead bucket from Cerro with under 20 seconds in the first quarter.
IUP held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the competition, advancing by as much as 28 at the end of the third quarter. In the second, Baughman put a forward pass to Cardona for a transition basket, giving the Hawks a 33-19 advantage before Stare took the Panthers to 10 at the break.
IUP took advantage of a 9-2 rise in the third quarter to extend their lead back to 17. Later in the frame, Cardona took a 50-30 lead on consecutive stickbacks around the middle of the third quarter. IUP scored the last eight points of the third quarter and kept the Ohio Dominican scoreless through the final 3:06 of the stanza.
IUP maintained control in the fourth, ODU reduced their deficit to 17 with about two minutes to go.
Four players had two three-point field goals that night for IUP, who completed a season-opening homestand on a perfect note.
IUP opens the crossover game with a trip across the state for back-to-back matchups against Mansfield (December 2) and Bloomsburg (December 3).
For the latest information, visit IUPAthletics.com and follow IUP Women’s Basketball on Twitter @IUPCrimsonHawk and @IUP_WBB.