ERIE, Pa. — Shippensburg senior Ariel Jones (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) tied the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) single-game scoring record and broke a school record with a career-high 48 points on Sunday afternoon, pacing the Shippensburg University women’s basketball team to an 85-71 win at Mercyhurst at Owen McCormick Court.
Jones surpassed Lauren Beckley’s school record of 47 points set on Feb. 13, 2008 and tied Millersville’s Terri Gunder conference record of 48 points set against Rowan in 1971. It is the most points scored by a woman in a Division II game in more than two years, since Drury’s Hailey Diestelkamp scored 53 points against Rockhurst on Feb. 29, 2020.
“She was fire today, and I knew at some point in her career she had a chance to break that single-game scoring record held by Lauren Beckley,” head coach Kristy Trn said. “Probably by halftime, when I looked at her totals, I knew this could be the day.”
Shippensburg (8-1, 3-0) held Mercyhurst scoreless in the first quarter, leading 19-0 after the opening 10 minutes. It is the first time ever in Raider history that an opponent was held scoreless in a quarter.
SU never lost the lead and benefited from nine early Laker turnovers. In the second quarter, Mercyhurst (5-4, 1-2) finally got on the board and even outscored Shippensburg, 31-20. The Raiders answered back in the second half with a 57-percent shooting from the field, and a 5-of-7 clip from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter helped the Raiders take away the victory.
Shippensburg finished the game 23-of-26 at the free-throw line; its 88.5 percent accuracy is its team season best. SU has shot 80 percent or better at the free-throw line in each of the last two games.
The Raiders also posted a huge rebounding advantage over the Lakers, 46-25. SU had 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points, and scored 20 points off turnovers.
Jones was one of three Raiders in double figures, leading with 48 points and finishing one rebound shy of her third double-double this season. She added three assists, a steal and two blocks. Jones was 15-of-16 from the free-throw line, making her first 14 attempts in a row, to establish a career-high single-game efficiency of 93.8 percent at the line. She had seven points in the first quarter, 10 points in the second quarter, 12 points in the third quarter and 19 points in the fourth quarter, including 4-of-6 from three-point range in the final 10 minutes.
Junior Treasure George (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) had her eighth consecutive game in double figures with 12 points. George dished out a team-high five assists and added eight rebounds, two steals and a block. Senior Lauren Pettis (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) had 11 points, finishing 5-of-5 from the field, and grabbed five rebounds, added a block, and an assist. Sophomore Abbie Miller (Camp Hill, Pa./Cumberland Valley) contributed seven points, five rebounds and two assists.
Jones’ 48 points is most by a Division II player in a game this season; Ashley Farrar of Henderson State scored 44 points against Southern Arkansas on Dec. 1. Until Sunday, the most points by a PSAC player this season had been Leah Johnson of West Chester, who scored 38 against West Virginia State on Nov. 13.
“Looking up at the scoreboard when she kept hitting a three and hitting another bucket or her free throws, when she got into the 30s, I knew there was a chance,” Trn said. “At 42 we knew it was coming, and then she buried the threes, so she’s in some rare air when she’s on, and I’m just very proud of her effort. She’s had a long time coming to get to this point, and I’m certainly sure she’s not done.”
Shippensburg will take on Gannon tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.