SELINSGROVE, Pa. – One of the final questions that Ursinus College women's basketball head coach Jim Buckley asked his team in shootaround on Sunday morning was "Are you ready to win a championship?"
Ursinus answered that question emphatically as the Bears (2-1) captured the championship of the 24th Annual Pepsi Tip-Off tournament with an 85-38 win over PSU-Harrisburg at Susquehanna University.
"We wanted to set the tempo early," said Buckley. "Our players came out and executed and were able to get some layups in transition."
Ursinus trailed by two early, but, a 10-0 run scoring midway through the first half put the Bears up by double digits and they never looked back. The Bears went up by as much as 50 along the way, as they held the Lady Lions (1-1) to 23.0 percent shooting (14-for-61) from the field.
Leading by 22 at half, Ursinus opened the second period by outscoring the Lions 24-10 over the first 12 minutes.
Freshman forward Jessica Porada (Morristown, N.J./Morris Catholic) was named the MVP of the two-day event as she scored a game-high 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Junior guard Diamond Lewis (East Windsor, N.J./Stuart Country Day) was also named to the all-tourney squad.
Freshman forward Caroline Shimrock (Lansdale, Pa./Gwynedd-Mercy Academy) had 18 points for Ursinus. Freshman forward Tori Steinberg (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South) scored nine points, while freshman guard Alyssa Polimeni and freshman forward Elana Roadcloud (Roslyn, Pa./Springside School) each had eight points. Polimeni also had seven assists
Porada also grabbed 12 rebounds as Ursinus had a commanding 57-34 lead on the glass. Shimrock added in nine rebounds as well.
PSU-Harrisburg was led by ten points each from junior guard Miranda Zeanchock and freshman guard Mercedes Copeland.
The 85 points were the most by a Bears squad since an 85-79 overtime victory over Delaware Valley back on February 1, 2007. Ursinus was appearing in the title game of the Pepsi Tip-Off for the first time since the tournament started in 1989. Ironically, it was the only time that the host institution did not appear in the championship.