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California (Pennsylvania) honors teammate with win

2015 Division II Women’s Basketball Championship

Members of the California University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team spent much of their season mourning the loss of teammate Shanice Clark, who died in her sleep in January due to complications from sickle cell trait.

The Vulcans played the remainder of their season in memory of Clark, who was redshirting this year after transferring into the program.

The inspired squad completed its journey through trying times and captured the Division II Women’s Basketball Championship with an 86-69 win over California Baptist University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on March 27.

California (Pennsylvania) coach Jess Strom said her players have played with heavy hearts all season. The Vulcans, 32-4, had close calls in the third round of the tournament (a 72-69 overtime victory over Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) and in the national quarterfinals (an 84-79 overtime win over Nova Southeastern University).

“We always say she’s with us,” said Strom after the Nova Southeastern game. “We probably shouldn’t have won today’s game, and we probably shouldn’t have won our regional final game, either. But somehow, some way, she’s helping us out.”

The Results

2015 Division II Women’s Basketball

CHAMPIONSHIP
California (Pennsylvania) 86, California Baptist 69

SEMIFINALS
California (Pennsylvania) 51, Emporia State 46
California Baptist 85, Limestone 67

ELITE 89 HONOREE
Jamie Johnson, Lewis University

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