In the third meeting between the two conference foes this season, the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans took home their second consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship, defeating the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks, 62-52 Sunday afternoon at Hamer Hall in California, Pa.
With the win, the Vulcans captured their sixth PSAC Championship in program history and won back-to-back titles for the first time since they won three consecutive conference titles from 2002-2004.
Following a 78-62 victory over Shippensburg in the PSAC Semifinals on Saturday, the Vulcans got off to a fast start against their rivals, whom they defeated 57-44 on Jan. 27. Cal U started the game on a commanding run to begin the game, taking a 20-6 lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Crimson Hawks took over, going on a 19-2 run to take a 25-22 lead with over three minutes remaining in the half. The Vulcans were able to come back and get points on the board to close the half, taking a 31-29 lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, both Cal U and IUP went back and forth trading baskets. Cal U took a 45-42 lead into the final quarter, setting up a huge final quarter of basketball to decide the conference champion.
As close as the Crimson Hawks made the game, the final quarter belonged to the Vulcans, who kept IUP off of the scoreboard for a large portion of the fourth quarter. The Vulcans capitalized on their stellar defense by clinching the win with a series of free throws that sealed the victory.
Junior Guard Miki Glenn, who was named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year earlier in the week, lead all Vulcan players with a team high 30 points, while shooting 53 percent from the field and going 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Following the game, Glenn would also be named PSAC Championships Most Valuable Player for a second consecutive year. Sophomore Forward Shatara Parsons also contributed in the victory, posting her 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Crimson Hawks were lead by senior Zhane Brooks and sophomore Megan Smith, who both compiled 17 points each in the loss. Brooks also compiled 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season, while Smith contributed five rebounds and two steals to the effort.
With the Victory, the defending National Champions from California received an automatic bid into this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Vulcans (24-5) were named the no. 2 seed in the Atlantic Region of the NCAA Tournament, while the Crimson Hawks (21-8) were named the no. 8 seed in the Atlantic Region at the annual NCAA Division II Selection Show on Sunday night.
Photo credit: @PSACsports