With a little over 12 minutes left in the first half, there was a common theme going for the Lycoming women's basketball team: zero easy buckets.
That all changed in the second half, though, as Lycoming came roaring back from down by as many as 19 points before falling to Elizabethtown, 52-49, at Lamade Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing by 15 points at halftime, the Warriors (4-12, 4-6 CC) struggled to get easy baskets, scoring just eight first-half points in the paint while committing 11 turnovers.
Lycoming came out in the second half with a new demeanor, however, going on a 7-0 run to stun the Blue Jays (8-7, 6-4 CC) and sparked the second-half comeback
"I didn't say anything at halftime besides that I knew we were better than we were playing and we could play better," said Lycoming head coach Christen Ditzler. "I said we need to step up the defensive intensity, and it may have been in a fairly loud tone with some emphases on some things, but that's it."
And leading the way for the second-half surge was the theme of easy baskets. This time, though, Lycoming got them.
Junior forward Julia Antonelli made a habit of receiving the ball with her back to the basket, then turning and attacking to get a high-quality shot attempt or force contact and go to the free throw line.
"That's really important," Ditzler said. "I thought we had attempts at easy baskets in the first half that we just didn't finish. They were easy opportunities that we didn't finish and we have to knock those down."
Along with the addition of easy buckets, Lycoming got a boost from freshman guard Victoria Siebecker, who helped stretch the floor and create better spacing with her perimeter scoring.
Siebecker, who had a previous career-high of two points, scored 10 points - including two big 3-pointers down the stretch - on 4-7 shooting while grabbing three rebounds.
"It was terrific to see," Ditzler said. "I can't say she came out of nowhere, because she works hard in practice and she can do all of those things, but it was us trying to find guards who could put the ball in the basket and we were really struggling with that from the rest of our guards."
Despite a big second half from both Antonelli and Siebecker, Elizabethtown held on late with the help of Kendra Beittel, who led the Blue Jays with 19 points while knocking down three of her five 3-point attempts.
With Beittel at the helm, the Blue Jays knocked down shots late, including important free throws in the closing seconds, to close out the game and end Lycoming's two-game win streak.
The second-half surge should be something Lycoming carries over, though, as a tough conference schedule lies ahead while Lycoming clings to the final playoff spot.
"These next games are crucial and we need to continue to play for 40 minutes," Ditzler said. "That was our downfall, we didn't play in the first half. In this league you have to play for 40 minutes."
ELIZABETHTOWN (8-7, 6-4 CC)
Kendra Beittel 6-12 4-4 19; Taylor Kreider 4-9 2-5 10; Taylor Alwine 4-12 1-2 9; Nadine Yunginger 3-5 0-1 7; Katy Fogel 2-8 0-0 4; Erika Ferro 1-3 0-0 2; Rachel Forjan 0-3 1-2 1; Alyssa Aichele 0-0 0-0 0; Taylor Santor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 8-14 52.
LYCOMING (4-12, 4-6 CC)
Julia Antonelli 4-11 8-9 16; Victoria Siebecker 4-7 0-0 10; Ali Derr 2-7 4-5 8; Rachael Scheller 2-8 2-2 6; Shannon Wheeler 2-9 0-0 4; Olivia Manges 1-10 1-3 3; Kat Andriani 1-3 0-0 2; Leeann Randall 0-1 0-0 0; Shanley Harlacker 0-3 0-0 0; Chelsea Henderson 0-1 0-0 0; Taylor Ford 0-0 0-0 0; Janelle Ziminski 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-61 15-19 49.
Halftime: Elizabethtown, 29-14. 3-point goals--Elizabethtown 4-14 (Beittel 3-5; Yunginger 1-3; Alwine 0-1; Fogel 0-2; Forjan 0-3), Lycoming 2-16 (Siebecker 2-3; Scheller 0-4; Wheeler 0-1; Manges 0-6; Harlacker 0-2). Fouled out-Alwine, Scheller. Rebounds--Elizabethtown 38 (Kreider 14), Lycoming 45 (Antonelli 11). Assists--Elizabethtown 14 (Fogel 5), Lycoming 13 (Antonelli 3; Wheeler 3). Total fouls--Elizabethtown 16, Lycoming 16. Technical fouls--None. A-378