In 2019, Justina Mascaro led the way for the Hawks averaging a team-high 14.2 points per game.

IUP women’s basketball dominated the court this weekend to begin its season 2-0 after beating Livingstone College 70-38 and Virginia State 51-42.

Livingstone never stood a chance Sunday as IUP quickly took the lead in the first quarter, scoring 27 points and forcing nine turnovers compared to its three points and zero forced turnovers.

“We did really well coming out in the first quarter and handling things that. In the past, we weren’t really the best at like breaking the press and all that full-court pressure, even on ball pressure,” guard Justina Mascaro (redshirt senior, finance and economics) said.

Entering halftime, IUP was up 22 points and showed no signs of slowing down.

Seniors Mascaro, Courtney Alexander (redshirt senior, nursing) and Maura D’Anne (redshirt senior, physical education) led the team with 17, 12 and 10 points scored respectively.

The seniors were not the only ones that performed well against Livingstone, though. Guard Kiera Baughman (freshman, kinesiology, health and sport science) scored nine points with five assists, two steals and only one turnover in the game.

Speaking of turnovers, one thing that held IUP back was 24 turnovers in the last three quarters after committing none in the first.

“We want to get a good shot every time down, and 24 [turnovers] is way, way too many,” head coach Tom McConnell said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to grow and get better in that area.”

“There can’t be any game slippage,” Mascaro said. “You have to execute, run the offense and just do what we do.”

IUP finished this one with a 40.9 field goal percentage and 14 more rebounds than its opponent, which brought home the win.

Saturday, the team played its first real game in 20 months against Virginia State where the seniors impressed yet again.

Mascaro went 7-15 scoring 16 points while D’Anne scored 14 points with nine blocks and led the team with nine rebounds.

The freshmen also came through again as guard Gina Adams (freshman, marketing) scored eight points, had the second-most rebounds on the team at six and went 4-4 on free throws.

“Gina gave us great toughness and has the potential to be a really good scorer,” McConnell said.

The Hawks went into halftime leading by 11 before the Trojans mounted a second-half comeback outscoring IUP 26-24.

IUP held on and used what it had learned from the preseason exhibitions and in practice to secure the win.

“Little things really matter,” Mascaro said. “Like the first pass, stepping to the pass, blocking out and finding your girl, those little details. You can’t not do those things against very good teams.”

“We have to carry over all those little aspects we go over in practice,” D’Anna said. “Even if it’s just two inches or two feet over to the right, we have to be in the right spot, help our teammates and bring each other up.”

The Crimson Hawks’ success this weekend could also be attributed to switching up their defensive style.

“We played a lot more zone than we have in a long time,” McConnell said. “We felt the scouting report dictated that we played more zone limit triple penetration.”

The team will next play Mount Aloysius at home on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

“Every day we come in with a fresh mindset of it’s a new team,” D’Anna said. “We don’t care how we played the day before or the day after. We do our thing; good things will happen for us.”

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