Basketball Lady ‘Cats win 2019-20 opener against Mansfield, 71-61


INDIANA (Pa.) – Brittany Stawovy sored 20 points and had five rebounds to lead her West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats to a 71-61 victory over Mansfield (Pa.) in their debut in the PSAC/MEC Challenge Saturday evening at the I.U.P. Memorial Field House.

Malaika Kimmons came off the bench in her sixth-man role and collected a double-double with 16 rebounds and 12 points while Nicole Gilyard added 14 points and eight rebounds and Abi Gabauer added 11 points.

Wesleyan overcame a slow start to the game, down 14-10 after one quarter, with a massive offensive output in the second quarter scoring 25 points.

Gilyard opened the second quarter with a pair of free throws, and after a free throw by Mansfield’s Paige Whitfield, Stawovy hit a three-pointer to deadlock the game at 15-15 with 1:39 gone in the second.

The game remained tied at 26-26 with a minute remaining as the Lady Bobcats closed with a flourish.

Gabauer unleashed a three-pointer and Stawovy followed with another trey, and after two free throws by Whitfield, Stawovy hit a three at the buzzer to give Wesleyan a 37-28 advantage at the break.

Wesleyan never trailed in the third quarter and built their lead to 13 late in the period on a lay-up by Amira Layeni that treated them to a 59-46 lead.

They went into the final period up by a 59-48 score.

An 11-4 run by Mansfield cut the Wesleyan lead down to four, at 63-59, with three minutes remaining, but Gilyard darted inside for a lay-up, Stawovy made two foul shots, Courtney Wilfong made one foul shot, and Kimmons flipped in two free throws to help Wesleyan to a 7-0 run and put the game out of reach, at 70-59, with 36 seconds remaining.

Wesleyan, 1-0, was to have finished up play in the PSAC/MEC Challenge Sunday evening playing host Indiana (Pa.).

They will return to action this Saturday in their home opener when they meet Shippensburg University for a non-conference tilt at 2 p.m. at Rockefeller Center.

The boxscore:

West Virginia Wesleyan                                               10  25  24  12 – 71

Mansfield                                                                       14  14  20  13 – 61

West Virginia Wesleyan 71

Brittany Stawovy 6-11 2-2 20; Nicole Gilyard 5-10 4-5 14; Malaika Kimmons 5-9 2-3 12; Abi Gabauer 4-10 0-0 11; Imani Jackson 2-6 3-3 7; Courtney Wilfong 4; Amira Laveni 1-4 1-2 3; Cierra Tolbert 0-3 0-0 0; Cydney Lapczynski 0-2 0-0 0; Emily Carl 0-0 0-0 0; Lauren Griffith 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-62 14-21 71.

Mansfield 61

Paige Whitefield 6-15 6-8 19; Kira Merritt 4-5 0-0 12; Sydney Reed 3-8 2-2 10; Jasmine Perez 3-12 0-0 6; Jasmine Hilton 2-3 1-1 5; Alivia Paeglow 2-7 0-2 4; Kendyl McKissock 1-1 0-0 3; Chelsea Cover 1-10 0-0 2; Bella Skatel 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-64 9-13 61.

Three-point field goals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 6-10, Gabauer 3-7, Wilfong 0-3, Lapczynski 0-1. Totals 9-21; Mansfield: Merritt 4-5, Reed 2-4, McKissock 1-1, Whitfield 1-6, Skatell 0-2, Cover 0-4, Perez 0-4. Totals 8-26.

Rebounds – West Virginia Wesleyan: Kimmons 16, Gilyard 8, Stawovy 5, team 5, Wilfong 4, Layeni 3, Lapczynski 2, Jackson 1, Tolbert 1, Gabauer 1, Carl 1, Griffith 1. Totals 48; Mansfield: Whitfield 8, team 8, Paeglow 5, Hilton 5, Perez 3, Reed 2, Cover 2, Merritt 1, Skatell 1. Totals 35.

Assists – West Virginia Wesleayn: Stawovy 5, Kimmons 3, Gilyard 1, Jackson 1, Wilfong 1, Layeni 1. Totals 12; Mansfield: Perez 5, Reed 3, Whitfield 2, Paeglow 2, Cover 2, Merritt 1. Totals 15.

Steals – West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 3, Gilyard 3, Kimmons 3, Lapczynski 1. Totals 10; Mansfield: Whitfield 2, Merritt 1, Paeglow 1, Cover 1, Perez 1, Skatell 1. Total 7.

Blocks – West Virginia Wesleyan: Stawovy 1. Totals 1; Mansfield: Whitefield 1. Totals 1.

Turnovers – West Virginia Wesleyan: 25; Mansfield: 19.

Fouls — West Virginia Wesleyan: 18; Mansfield: 23.

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