PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the hottest teams in the nation right now in Division II women’s basketball is West Chester University.
The Golden Rams have won 14 straight games to improve to 19-4 on the season (16-3 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference). The winning streak is the longest for the West Chester program since they opened the 1971-72 season by winning 16 straight.
“Been an awesome ride, obviously,” West Chester head coach Kiera Wooden tells KYW Newsradio. “We’re enjoying it, we’re playing well right now, we’re playing together and the wins are taking care of themselves on the score sheet. So it’s a good time right now.”
This success comes after West Chester struggled through the 2016-17 campaign, going 10-17. Wooden, however, was confident that her team would bounce back in a big way this season.
“Honestly, I thought that they had this in them,” she says. “I knew that we had a good nucleus returning and then we had some pieces that were sitting out last year via redshirt. Then we got a transfer from Goldey-Beacom in Alexis Bruno, I knew that nucleus playing together was capable of some magical things.”
Bruno, a senior guard, is averaging 9.5 points off the bench this season for the Golden Rams. She also leads the team with 92 assists and she is just one player playing a key role this season.
“[Senior forward] Mia Hopkins, she sat out last year, was red-shirting and she’s playing phenomenal right now,” Wooden says. “Last game almost had a quadruple-double [finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and 8 steals in a win over Cheyney]. She’s definitely bringing a lot to the table in terms of not only her scoring ability but her passing ability. Then we have [senior guard] Porscha Speller who was first-team all-conference last year and is also having a phenomenal year. Then we also have our other senior [guard] Camden Boehner who is a knock-down three-point shooter and [she] is playing extremely well, like she doesn’t want her career to end anytime soon. So our seniors are definitely stepping up.”
Speller leads the team in scoring at 16.6 ppg, Hopkins pours in 15.3 points a game and paces the team in rebounding (8.8 per game). Boehner averages 13.4 points per game while shooting 38% from three.
West Chester enjoys a one-game lead for first-place in the PSAC East and obviously when you win 14 straight, a lot is working, but Wooden says they still have room where they can get even better.
“Definitely in my opinion on the defensive end,” she says. “I always say that offense wins games but defense wins championships. So if we are really going to compete for a championship, I think we really have to focus on a consecutive stop mindset on the defensive end.”
West Chester will look for a 15th straight win on Wednesday night when the Golden Rams host Lock Haven.