LOCK HAVEN - For the first 20 minutes of Saturday's meeting between Lock Haven and Mansfield, it was anyone's game as LHU held a two-point lead at the half.
There was no doubt in the end, however, as the Lady Eagles exploded in the second half for an 82-44 win Saturday afternoon at Thomas Field House.
"It took us about a game-and-a-half to get started this year, but once we got things going it felt pretty good," said Lock Haven coach Jennifer Smith, whose team lost its opener. "I thought they were fun to watch. We had a great crowd today and everything just started to go our way in the second half."
Mansfield interim head coach Alison Tagliaferri felt her team had too many turnovers and suffered through a lack of execution.
"We definitely played Mansfield basketball in the first half," said Tagliaferri. "We still weren't executing in the first half and we had way too many turnovers (16 in the first half and 34 for the game). We were still trying to get stops and we were still in the game. In the end, we just killed ourselves on the offensive rebounds. We can't give up 20 offensive rebounds and expect to win the game."
Both teams scored in bunches out of the gate, Lock Haven led 6-0 before Mansfield answered with a half dozen of its own for a 6-all tie, the first of six ties in the opening half.
From that point on, the lead changed hands eight times until Syvae McDaniel gave the Lady Eagles a 30-28 lead at the break on a putback at the buzzer.
"I thought they (Mansfield) played very hard today," said Smith. "We went pretty deep into our bench and we had 11 girls who had double digits in minutes played and you don't see that much in Division II anywhere and I think keeping fresh legs on the floor is what really helped us."
During the opening 20 minutes, the Lady Eagles established an 11-7 edge in field goals, but the Lady Mountaineers were able to stay close on the strength of a 13 of 14 effort from the foul line.
"We did a good job at the free throw line in the first half, but the problem in the second half was that we weren't getting to the line," Tagliaferri said. "I think the poor shooting in the second half kind of took the wind out of our sails. We need to learn that our defense has to spark our offense and not vice versa."
Emily Daugherty gave the Lady Eagles a four-point lead with a bucket 20 seconds into the second half, but Mansfield rallied back on a free throw by Katie Fitzpatrick and a bucket by Julia Stevenson to cut the LHU lead back to a single point.
After the teams traded buckets on their next two possessions, the Lady Eagles picked up the defense and put their transition game into high gear to manufacture a 17-0 run for a 51-33 lead. Leading the Lock Haven surge was J. J. Hilliard with nine of the 17 points in the stretch.
"We put four freshmen and a senior on the floor," said Smith. "We went into our full-court man (defense) and that is what turned it around for us. When you have four freshmen on the court and that happens, you have to be happy with that."
Maryssa Moyer, who transferred from Mansfield to Lock Haven, had 16 points and eight boards for the Lady Eagles.
"It definitely felt weird coming in playing against a team that I played with last year, but at the same time, the Lock Haven girls are my new family," said Moyer. "Playing with my new teammates is an amazing feeling, but once the game started, it didn't seem any different to me."
Joining Moyer in doubles for the Lady Eagles were Emily Daugherty (13 points), J. J. Hilliard (12) and Syvae McDaniel (11).
Julia Stevenson led Mansfield with 14 points, Shaleta Heyward scored 10 points off the bench.
MANSFIELD (0-1, 0-1 PSAC)
STEVENSON, Julia 6-12 2-2 14; HEYWARD, Shaleta 4-8 1-2 10; DERICHIE, Alyssa 0-6 8-8 8; MATTER, Jena 1-6 4-6 6; FITZPATRICK, Katie 2-8 1-2 5; CARNEY, Bridget 0-1 1-2 1; LACEY, Victoria 0-1 0-0 0; ESPIGH, Kayla 0-2 0-0 0; REID, Melissa 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-45 17-22 44.
LOCK HAVEN (1-1, 1-0 PSAC)
MOYER, Marrysa 6-10 3-4 16; DAUGHERTY, Emily 5-13 2-3 13; HILLIARD, J.J. 5-11 0-0 12; McDANIEL, Syvae 4-5 3-6 11; McDANIEL, Rachael 3-5 0-0 8; HERSHEY, Kacie 3-5 2-3 8; RYAN, Kelsey 3-8 0-0 6; LANE, Sami 1-8 2-3 4; GILDEA, Hannah 1-4 2-2 4; BAIR, Kristi 0-0 0-0 0; MORALES, Brianna 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 31-72 14-21 82.
Halftime - Lock Haven 30-28. 3-point goals--Mansfield 1-4 (HEYWARD 1-3; ESPIGH 0-1), Lock Haven 6-17 (McDANIEL 2-4; HILLIARD 2-3; DAUGHERTY 1-4; MOYER 1-3; GILDEA 0-1; MORALES 0-1; RYAN 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--Mansfield 36 (FITZPATRICK 9; STEVENSON 9), Lock Haven 43 (RYAN 8; MOYER 8). Assists--Mansfield 5 (FITZPATRICK 2), Lock Haven 16 (LANE 4). Total fouls--Mansfield 18, Lock Haven 17. Technical fouls--None. A-390.