Siembak shines in 77-61 win
CALIFORNIA - After suffering their first loss of the season, the California Lady Vulcans were looking to come out Saturday afternoon against Lock Haven with a fast start.
But after the first four minutes, it looked like Lock Haven (7-10, 1-3) might pull off another upset. The Lady Eagles had a 6-0 lead, and Cal U's star forward, Becky Siembak, picked up two quick fouls.
Not that she let that bother her.
Siembak proceeded to have a career game, scoring a personal best 32 points to lead the Vulcans (17-1, 3-0) to a 77-61 victory, their 28th straight home win. The game marked the first time in Siembak's career that she reached the 30-point mark. She also had 10 rebounds (five offensive) for her 13th double-double of the season.
Despite the two quick fouls, she played 34 minutes and never picked up a third foul. Siembak made 15 of 21 shots from the floor.
"I didn't take Becky out because I was out-voted," said California coach Darcie Vincent, with a laugh. "My assistant coach (Heather Kearney) and Becky both said to leave Becky in the game."
"I think those fouls were just me being over-aggressive. After that, I knew I needed to play smarter," said Siembak. "I needed to be a spark and a leader."
After the slow start, the Vulcans stormed back to take a 30-23 halftime lead, with Siembak scoring 15 points.
California's other star, Sara McKinney - who has been struggling of late - had six points and 10 rebounds at the break. She also finished with a double-double, with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds (six offensive). Sameera Philyaw also scored in double figures for Cal with 12 and had a team-high six assists.
"Sara and Sameera are the two players I need to bear down on. I've really tested their character the last two days, and they responded with great performances," Vincent said.
All five starters for Lock Haven played at least 35 minutes each. Four of them scored in double digits - Holly Young (14), Amanda Jones (13) and Cyndi Crowl and Melissa Picarsic (12). The fifth starter, Kristy Shadduck, scored nine.
Bench scoring was a big factor. Cal's reserves outscored the Lady Eagles, 30-1.
California also held a 40-26 advantage on the boards.
"Our offense begins with our defense. We need transition points, which come from rebounding,"said Vincent.
"We get the easy transition points from our rebounding," Siembak said. She leads the PSAC with 14.7 rebounds per game.
California travels to Shippensburg Wednesday.