READING, Pa. — Amaka Ezeani (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) was 14-for-18 from the field this afternoon and her game-high total of 28 points helped Goucher secure an 87-63 victory over Penn State-Berks.
The 6-foot-5 senior center made only two baskets in the first quarter, but both were during the 8-0 run by head coach Patrick Daniel's squad to begin the game. After missing their first five shots, the Nittany Lions (0-2) managed to close to within 10-6 when Mackenzie Adame nailed a pair of 3-point baskets on back-to-back possessions midway through the period.
During one stretch of the opening quarter that lasted just over three minutes, Goucher made six consecutive shots from the field and ended the period with a healthy 24-14 lead.
The Gophers (3-0) missed all five of the field goals they attempted and were also guilty of four turnovers during the opening 3:33 of the second quarter, but they still came out of that stint with a seven-point cushion because all the Nittany Lions countered with was another 3-point basket by Adame.
Ezeani's third made basket provided Goucher with a 28-17 lead with 5:17 remaining before halftime. By the time the break arrived, however, she had knocked down four more shots and the gap between the two teams had ballooned to 17 points.
The only shot Ezeani missed among the eight she took in the second half was a layup midway through the third quarter, but she rebounded the errant attempt and put it back in.
Her 28-point performance left Ezeani one shy of her career-high for points in a game. She poured in 29 points against Washington Adventist back on Dec. 2, 2013.
Including Ezeani, four of Goucher's five starters contributed at least 10 points to the victory. Jaida Scarborough (Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor) finished with 19 points, the most the junior guard has scored in a game since arriving as a trasnfer from Division II West Virginia St., while Joyce Woolen (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) and Briana Bull (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The fifth starter wound up with nine points, but India Perkins (Brentwood, Md./Bladensburg) latched on to 13 rebounds and handed out eight assists. Bull was one better than Perkins in the assist department.
Scarborough came up three steals shy of a triple-double as she complemented her 19 points with a dozen rebounds, seven steals and a pair of assists.
As a team, Goucher achieved a .521 shooting percentage by going 38-for-73 from the field; Penn State-Berks was 16-for-58 (.276).
The leading scorer for the Nittany Lions was Deanna Daddona with 23 points. Adame was next in line with 15.
"Good first road win for us," Daniel commented after the game. "We did some things well, but our focus will be on the things we really need to work on to get better. We cannot continue to turn the ball over and commit bad fouls.
"Really happy how well Amaka played and taking her time down low. We look forward to getting better on Tuesday in our next game."
Tuesday's game is against Cedar Crest and will be played in Allentown, Pa., beginning at 6 p.m. With a victory over the Falcons, the Gophers would be 4-0 to start a season for the first time during the 29 years Goucher has been a member of the NCAA.