CLARION, Pa. – The Clarion women’s basketball team improved to 4-0 on the season with a comeback effort, rallying from a halftime deficit to beat Wilmington 72-65 at the Student Recreation Center. The Golden Eagles continue their four-game homestand on Tuesday, November 20 when they host Lake Erie at 2 p.m.
The win gives the Golden Eagles their best record to start the season since 2004-05, which was the last time Clarion won four straight to start the year. That team won four straight and eight of their first nine en route to a 23-7 overall record and an NCAA Tournament berth.
Kadijah Dickson had her second double-double of the season, finishing with game-highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way. Jordan Bekelja came off the bench for a dose of instant offense, scoring 18 points in just 21 minutes. Haille Hart added 11 points of her own.
The Wildcats started the game with a 24-18 advantage after the first quarter, and at one point led by nine points before the Golden Eagles chipped away. Wilmington led 32-25 late in the second quarter but Bekelja drilled a three-pointer to make it a two-possession game, and Bekelja and Yndiah Bobo made free throws down the stretch to cut it to two points at halftime.
The Golden Eagles tied the score on the first possession of the third quarter as the Wildcat drought approached four minutes, but Wilmington extended the advantage to six points midway through the quarter. It was not until Neely Whitehead made a three-pointer at the 3:27 mark that Clarion took their first lead of the game, and Bekelja re-took it at the end of the period with two free throws.
Clarion never allowed Wilmington to jump back in front, though the Wildcats tied the score at 57 at the midway point of the fourth quarter. Hart finished off an and-one and then made a layup on the next trip down the floor to push the lead to 62-57. Yasmin Lewis gave the Golden Eagles a seven-point lead at 1:46 and Bekelja increased it to 71-62 as time wound down to give Clarion the win.