LOCK HAVEN It was one of those games that was there for the taking, and for the first 20 minutes, it looked like the Lock Haven women's basketball team would do jus that.
However, unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, West Chester rallied from as many as 12 points down to walk off the floor with a 75-64 win.
"Those girls played an outstanding game and in many ways," said LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. "It was working hard, it was hustle, it was the things that you preach to your team every day that you want them to do. They came out in the first half and did it."
The Lady Eagles hustled, scrapped and battled their way to a 5-point lead with nine minutes left in the first half, eventually increasing it to 35-25 at the half, with a 36-15 rebounding edge. Emily Daugherty and Kelsey Ryan had eight rebounds apiece.
"They both gave us a spark in the first half," said Smith. "It was digging down and working hard. They played with that refuse to lose mentality and I think it was a good effort by us across the board. We as a team played hard. We just didn't play quite good enough."
Just as good as the first 20 minutes was to the Lady Eagles, the opening seven minutes of the second period was not so good as West Chester opened the half with a 20-10 run to tie the game at 45-all.
"We kind of lost all of our momentum we had when they made that run at us," said Smith. "We tried this and we tried that, but we just struggled to get any of it (momentum) back. We just couldn't grab any of it back."
So what was the difference between the Lady Eagles in the opening half and during the final 20 minutes?
"I think we got nervous in the second half with the lead over a good team like West Chester because we aren't used to being in that situation," said Smith. "Hopefully we can learn from this game today and turn the corner."
In addition to nerves possibly playing a role in the change of directions, West Chester coach Deidra Kane decided to have Alexandra Lennon go to work down low and Lennon responded by scoring six of the Lady Rams nine points to open the half.
"We thought that would happen and if I had a 6-2 girl I would go to her as well," said Smith. "They went to her and she hit some shots. She really stepped up but we eventually did adjust to that."
From that point on (45-all tie), there were two ties and three lead changes until the game was deadlocked at 51-all with nine minutes left.
However, during the next four minutes, the Lady Rams ran off eight unanswered points to go on top 59-51 and they never looked back as they converted on nine of ten free throws down the stretch.
WEST CHESTER (7-4, 4-3 PSAC)
SICINSKI, Brittany 5-10 8-9 21; LENNON, Alex 8-12 3-4 19; ORTMAN, Ambreelinne 4-6 2-2 13; ELLIOTT, Paige 4-10 0-0 10; JUNAID, Serifat 1-5 2-2 4; STRICKLAND, Carly 1-5 1-2 3; KERRIGAN, Meghan 1-3 0-0 2; POWELL, Brittany 1-3 0-0 2; CLARK, Jasmen 0-8 1-2 1; JOHNSON, Tiffany 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-64 17-21 75.
LOCK HAVEN (4-7, 1-6 PSAC)
RYAN, Kelsey 6-13 4-5 16; MOYER, Marrysa 4-12 5-8 15; HERSHEY, Kacie 7-11 1-3 15; DAUGHERTY, Emily 3-9 2-2 9; BERRY, Adrianna 1-5 2-2 4; MORALES, Brianna 1-6 1-2 3; HILLIARD, J.J. 1-7 0-0 2; GILDEA, Hannah 0-1 0-0 0; LANE, Sami 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-66 15-22 64.
Halftime:?Lock Haven, 35-25. 3-point goals--West Chester 8-22 (SICINSKI, 3-5; ORTMAN, 3-4; ELLIOTT, 2-5; POWELL, 0-2; CLARK, 0-6), Lock Haven 3-14 (MOYER, 2-6; DAUGHERTY, 1-2; BERRY, 0-2; MORALES, 0-1; HILLIARD, 0-2; RYAN, 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--West Chester 31 (KERRIGAN, 6), Lock Haven 55 (RYAN, 12; DAUGHERTY, 12). Assists--West Chester 15 (KERRIGAN, 6), Lock Haven 12 (MORALES, 3; DAUGHERTY, 3). Total fouls--West Chester 18, Lock Haven 15. Technical fouls--None. A-207