Injury sidelines freshman guard Marita Mathe indefinitely after she wins PSAC Freshman of the Week
Published: Thursday, December 8, 2011
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2011 13:12
Just as it seemed that the IUP women's basketball team was hitting its stride, especially the freshmen, it was dealt a blow after the news that freshmen guard Marita Mathe is out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in her foot.
The injured foot kept Mathe out of IUP's 89-67 win over Mansfield Dec. 4, a day after she led the Crimson Hawks in scoring with 19 points during IUP's win over Bloomsburg.
During the win, Mathe hit two clutch free throws with 16 seconds left.
Four days prior to the Bloomsburg game, Mathe scored 15 points during IUP's 91-46 win over Washington Adventist.
Mathe's two big games earned her PSAC West Freshman Athlete of the Week honors.
Mathe's injury puts the Hawks in a situation that IUP Head Coach Jeff Dow described in a text as "not ideal."
The rest of the undefeated Crimson Hawks (6-0, 4-0) will look to make the best of this less-than-ideal situation when they travel east this weekend against East Stroudsburg (3-3, 1-3) at 5:30 p.m. today and Kutztown (3-6, 2-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Fortunately for the Hawks, they have a lot of depth and a lot of role players. Even with Mathe in the lineup, Dow uses 10 players.
The team is so deep that Mathe is probably the third or fourth scoring option. The top two scorers for IUP so far have been senior forwards Sarah Pastorek and Vianca Tejada.
Pastorek's 27 points against Mansfield upped her average on the season to 14.3 per game, first on the team. Tejada is second, averaging 11.3.
The next two are both members of the surprisingly well-performing freshmen class.
Forward Ashley Stoner averages 11.2 points per game and scored double figures in both of IUP's games last weekend. The same goes for freshman guard Leslie Stapleton, who averages 10.8 points per game and scored 11 and 15 last weekend.
All of those scoring options for IUP amount in the PSAC's second-best scoring offense in averaging 83 points per game. The Crimson Hawks are also tops in the conference in field goal percentage (48 percent) and 3-point percentage (42 percent).
IUP's opponents this weekend, ESU and Kutztown, both give up more than 60 points per game. Kutztown gives up nearly 70 per game.
Kutztown, has played the most games (nine) among PSAC schools so far and has lost four of its last six.
The last time IUP played ESU was Jan. 8, and it was not pretty. IUP trounced the Warriors 86-18.
The last time IUP squared off against the Golden Bears was the very next day, Jan. 9, also resulting in an IUP win, 74-67. Neither ESU or Kutztown have been able to get the upper hand on the Hawks very often.
The Hawks' record against both ESU and Kutztown is a combined 28-6.