ELIZABETHTOWN - For the second consecutive game, Lycoming was undone by an oddly similar poor shooting performance.
It certainly wasn't for lack of effort, as the Lady Warriors exceeded the 50-shot mark for a second straight outing. But it was for a lack of execution as Lycoming shot less than 40 percent for the second time in as many tries.
No. 4 seed Elizabethtown was all too happy to exploit No. 5 Lycoming's shooting woes as it advanced to the semifinals of the Commonwealth Conference playoffs with a, 72-55 win at Thompson Gymnasium. The Bluejays will travel to No. 1 Messiah Wednesday.
"We always play better and have a lot more confidence when our shots fall early," Lycoming coach Christen Ditzler said. "We got some good looks. We just weren't connecting and it caught up to us."
At 5:35 in the first half, Shanley Harlacker subbed in and connected with a three-pointer to get Lycoming (8-17) within two of tying.
Rachel Forjan (12 points, 5 rebounds) and Nadine Yunginger (12 points, 4 rebounds) responded with five straight points for Elizabethtown. Erika Ferro also added two free throws over the span to complete a 7-0 run to restore the Bluejays (15-10) nine-point lead.
Harlacker's three marked Lycoming's final field goal as Elizabethtown closed out the half on an 11-2 run.
Rachael Scheller and Olivia Manges each made a free throw over the run for Lycoming's final two points of the first half.
"It's frustrating because every time you fell like you're getting back into it, they shut you down for one play," Scheller said. "Elizabethtown had more experience and pulled ahead. Sometimes that happens."
Scheller ignited a 6-0 run for Lycoming with her second 3-pointer of the first half. Harlacker followed with her trey to get Lycoming within 26-24.
The offense fell flat for Lycoming after the small surge, which gave Elizabethtown a chance to build some distance. The Bluejays closed the half out scoring five straight points.
"It's about runs and E-town found a way to finish the game and stop our runs," Ditzler said. "We worked hard throughout the game, but you could tell we were just a little off."
Taylor Kreider, who led all scorers with 16 first-half points, found Forjan for one of her three first half assists. Yunginger added a trey on the Bluejays next trip down and Erika Ferro buried two free throws to extend the run.
"It seemed like every run we went on they were able to respond," Ditzler said.
The final of the half run was highlighted by Kreider, who added two assists, two points and two rebounds over the stretch. She finished with a game-high 19 points and 17 rebounds.
"She's a very dynamic athlete," Elizabethtown coach Sherri Gorman said of Kreider. "Her decision making and poise tonight were good. When we needed something she was able to get it for us within the flow of the game."
In two regular season games, Julia Antonelli led the Warriors with a combined 35 points to go with 23 rebounds. Manges also grabbed seven rebounds in her last appearance against the Bluejays.
Both games were decided by a combined 11 points, with the most recent tilt going to the Bluejays, which took a 52-49 win at Lamade. The Warriors won the first game, 70-62.
"The first two games we played them we lost the rebounding statistic," Gorman said. "I thought it was going to be paramount to tonight's game to win that statistic. We did a nice job on that."
The Bluejays pulled down 47 rebounds compared to the Warriors' 31.
"Experience played a huge role in the game," Ditzler said. "Elizabethtown played great, but kept its composure. That was a big difference. They are a seasoned team and their veterans played very well."
Lycoming went cold from the floor once again after a Scheller three at 10:55 of the second half. The trey cut the Bluejays advantage down to 44-38. midway through the second half.
A two-minute span without a field goal followed, which allowed Elizabethtown to go on a 7-0 run. Ali Derr (7 points, 2 rebounds) finally ended the scoring drought with the first of two free throw attempts, but at that point the damage had already been done.
Scheller finished with a team-high 16 points and Antonelli added 10 to go with 11 rebounds. Olivia Manges also posted ten points and two steals.
Rachael Scheller 5-8 4-7 16; Olivia Manges 3-13 3-4 10; Julia Antonelli 3-7 4-4 10; Ali Derr 2-4 3-4 7; Shannon Wheeler 2-6 0-2 4; Janelle Ziminski 1-4 0-0 3; Shanley Harlacker 1-7 0-0 3; Kat Andriani 1-4 0-1 2; Victoria Siebecker 0-0 0-0 0; Leeann Randall 0-1 0-0 0; Chelsea Henderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 14-22 55.
Taylor Kreider 8-17 3-9 19; Rachel Forjan 3-4 6-6 12; Nadine Yunginger 4-9 2-6 12; Taylor Alwine 5-9 0-0 10; Kendra Beittel 2-2 3-5 7; Katy Fogel 2-6 2-4 7; Erika Ferro 1-3 3-4 5; Emily Young 0-0 0-0 0; Alyssa Aichele 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 19-34 72.
Halftime:?Elizabethtown, 38-26. 3-point goals--Lycoming 5-15 (Scheller 2-4; Harlacker 1-5; Ziminski 1-1; Manges 1-3; Randall 0-1; Wheeler 0-1), Elizabethtown 3-9 (Yunginger 2-5; Fogel 1-2; Aichele 0-1; Forjan 0-1). Fouled out---None. Rebounds--Lycoming 31 (Antonelli 11), Elizabethtown 47 (Kreider 17). Assists--Lycoming 12 (Scheller 5), Elizabethtown 17 (Kreider 6). Total fouls--Lycoming 28, Elizabethtown 19. Technical fouls--None. A-555