University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Coach Gault Earns 500th Career Victory - 11/19/05

Head Coach Jodi Gault Wins Career Game #500 with 81-71 Victory over Tiffin at Findlay Tournament
Pitt Johnstown Lady Cat Head Coach Jodi Gault became only the eighth coach in women's Division II basketball history to reach the 500-victory plateau when her Lady Cats defeated Tiffin (OH) University, 81-71, Saturday afterooon in the consolation game of the 2005 University of Findlay (OH) Tournament.  Senior center Samantha Conner (Everett, Pa.) scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Pitt Johnstown erase an 11-point second half deficit and earn a 10-point win.  The Lady Cats are now 1-1 on the sesason.

     In her 24th season, Coach Gault, a native of Oil City, Pa. and a graduate of Oil City High School, has compiled a 500-142 overall record and has led her teams to 14 NCAA post-season tournaments.  Her teams have averaged nearly 21 wins per season and have been nationally-ranked in 13 different seasons.
     Conner finished 9-12 from the field and 6-6 from the free-throw line.  Junior forward Jami Oaks (South Fork, Pa.) scored 16 points on 7-18 shooting, including two three-point field goals, while junior forward Jessica Zapf (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added 15 points on 5-7 shooting from the field and 5-5 from the free-throw line.  Zapf also pulleed down a team-high 10 rebounds.  Coach Gault also got 14 points, two rebounds and three assists from junior guard Allison Krischer (Johnstown, Pa.) and game-highs of seven assists and five steals from senior guard Jaclyn Schirf (Loretto, Pa.).
     The Lady Cats battled back from a 60-49 deficit with 11:03 to play by going on an 20-8 run to take the lead, 69-68, with just over five minutes left in the game.  Pitt Johnstown never gave up the lead again, including making eight straight free-throws down the stretch.  The Lady Cats ended the game 17-18 (94.4%) from the charity stripe and shot 46.9% (30-64) from the field.  Tiffin was 25-60 (41.7%) from the field and 13-18 (72.2%) from the free-throw line.  Pitt Johnstown also forced 19 Tiffin turnovers and turned them into 16 points.  
     Among active Division II women’s basketball coaches, Coach Gault entered the season ranked seventh in victories (499) and eighth in winning percentage (.780).  Her 499 victories and .780 winning percentage in the previous 23 years rank eighth all-time among Division II women’s coaches.
     Along with the 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, Coach Gault guided her teams to five East Regional titles and a trip to the Final Four after defeating top-ranked Delta State in 1987.  That year, Coach Gault was tabbed American Women’s Sports Federation Coach of the Year.
     Coach Gault, the 1991 Mideast Conference Coach of the Year, also led the Lady Cats to back-to-back conference championships in 1990 and 1991.
     In her tenure, Coach Gault has coached 18 of the 21 Pitt Johnstown All-Americans, including nine Kodak/WBCA All-Americans.
     Coach Gault, a former standout player at Slippery Rock University, was inducted in the Slippery Rock Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.  On December 3, 2005 in Pittsburgh, she will be recognized by the High School Super Scouting Service as a pioneer of women’s basketball.
     Brienne Beaschler's 15 points led the way for Tiffin.  Ashley Lane added 13 points and Megan Jesulaitis had 10 points.  Sarah Pitson grabbed a game-high 11 reboudns for Tiffin, which fell to 1-2 to start the season.
     The Lady Cats travel to the IUP Cancer Classic for three games over the Thanksgiving Weekend.  Pitt Johnstown will play Clarion University on Friday at noon, West Chester on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and IUP on Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  The Lady Cats will play their first home game of the 2005-06 on Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m. in the Sports Center.
Last Reviewed: November 19, 2005