Riverhawks top West Virginia Potomac State College Catamounts 72-67


Javier Solís

The Riverhawks won yesterday 72-67 against the West Virginia Potomac State College Catamounts 72-67.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

The Riverhawks women’s basketball team nearly blew a 19-point lead but still held on to beat the West Virginia Potomac State College Catamounts 72-67 and earn its first win of the season.

A few of the fans at the home game were there as part of a “Go to a Game With OSE” event hosted by the Office of Student Engagement, the Athletic Department and the college’s First-Year Experience program.

The game was “incredibly exciting,” Sydney Klabnik, the new experience assistant at OSE, said. “I love supporting women’s sports. I used to be on the women’s soccer team so we’re really excited to be here to support the women’s basketball team tonight.” 

Second-year business student Victor Solis attended his first-ever basketball game. 

“I’m just enjoying it because I don’t know [much] about the game,” Solis said. “I’m asking people around me about what was happening.”

Student Government Association Vice President of Finance Michael Amwoga said his favorite part of the game was both teams hustling. 

The players were “talented,” Amwoga, a third-year business student noted. “They can make shots and everything but the hustle plays … really stood out to me. I’ve enjoyed that the most.”

Riverhawks head women’s basketball coach Lionel Makell said the reason for the team’s near-loss was that the Riverhawks kept fouling the Catamounts.

“We put them on the free throw line,” Makell said. “That’s where the fouls [were] at. So we put them on the free throw line without the clock running. You cannot do that. But that’s the inexperienced players that we have.”

Still, with this victory, the Riverhawks improved its win-loss record to 1-4 and the Catamounts dropped to 3-1. Riverhawks Guard Leila Townsend had 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Guard Brandy Middleton added 18 points with three rebounds and three assists. Guard Isabella Papaleonti pitched in 11 points with four rebounds and three assists. 

“Will take the win,” Makell said. “I told them before we came out we played too hard and too many close games not to win. They deserved to win for themselves and they got it tonight.”

Middleton, a third-year public health science student, said the first win felt “really great.”

“I feel like coming together as a team [made us perform] really well came in the fifth game,” Middleton said. “So it’s good to finally get a win.”

The Riverhawks shot 44.8% as a team from the field, 33.3% from three and 71.4% from the foul line. 

Townsend, a first-year transfer studies student, said the team did well on offensive ball movement.

“That really helped us in the first half and then we picked up our defense in the end,” Townsend said.

Catamounts women’s head basketball coach Larry Kruk said this game “was a tough one to swallow.”

“We battled back from 19 and cut the lead to one,” Kruk said. “It just didn’t go our way at the end.”

Kruk noted the team put more effort in the comeback.

“Honestly, it was just effort,” Kruk said. “We were lacking effort all day and then we decided to start playing with some effort. So it wasn’t anything in particular that we did. We just started doing what we needed to do from the get-go.”

Catamounts point guard Madi Martin agreed.

“It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to,” Martin, a second-year pre-med student, said. “We came out lazy in the first half. [In] the second half we pushed but came up really short and that’s not what we wanted. We had a couple of bumps again.”

The Riverhawks’ next game is Saturday at 1 p.m. against the Middlesex College Colts. The Catamounts next game is on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. against the Hocking College Hawks.