LHU holds on to defeat Mercyhurst

LOCK HAVEN — For the Lock Haven University women’s basketball team, it was one that almost got away.

Leading by as many as 16 in the first half, the Lady Eagles fell behind by a pair in the fourth period before riding an 11-0 run to a 66-60 win over the Mercyhurst Lady Lakers in a PSAC crossover contest at the Thomas Field House Sunday afternoon.

“We had a really good first half and we played well on both ends of the floor,” said LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. “They (Lakers) didn’t shoot the ball well and we shot the ball with a lot of confidence. We knew coming out that the second half was going to a different story.”

The Lady Eagles used their long-range artillery and a suffocating defense in the opening period to open an 18-10 lead at the first turn.

The Lady Eagles kept their pedal down in the second period as they continued to scrap defensively, increasing their lead to 16 (40-24) with a 22-14 period.

Rileigh Devine led the Lock Haven offense shooting four of five attempts from beyond the arc to pace a 67 percent effort from the floor while the defense held Mercyhurst to just 30 percent. 0-6 from beyond the arc.

Devine finished with 18 points to lead all scorers in the game. Taylor Leidy and Bink Redman joined Devine in double-digit scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“When my first shot went in, I felt it and I had to keep building off of it,” said Devine. “The young kids we have, their basketball IQ is so high they know the ins and outs of the game and they picked up on our offense and defense so quick. They are just fantastic and I love playing with them.”

Trailing by double digits, Mercyhurst came out of the locker room after the break and promptly opened third-quarter action with a 13-2 run to cut its deficit to five (37-42), eventually climbing to within two (45-47) at the turn for home.

Keeping the momentum going, Mercyhurst eventually took the lead at 55-53 before LHU scored 11 points in a row to go up 64-55 with four minutes left before holding on for the 66-60 win.

“I think this team has a lot of fight in them even though they are still figuring it out a little bit,” said Smith. “It was just a good all-around game and we got a little bit out of everybody. Ayanda (McGill-Jefferson) gave us some real big minutes down the stretch and she isn’t usually in the game at that point.”

In addition to Jefferson, Jalyn Shelton-Burleigh was huge down the stretch as the former State High product came up big despite being saddled with four fouls.

“Being a senior now it is a lot of fun playing with these young girls,” said Shelton-Burleigh. “The coach just told me to play smart and not commit a bad foul and we were strong when we had to be.”

Lock Haven 66, Mercyhurst 60

Lock Haven (66)

Bink Redman 4 2-6 10; Rileigh Devine 5 5-9 18; Taylor Leidy 4 1-2 11; Ahnera Parker 3 2-2 8; Burleigh Shelton 3 3-4 9; Nadia Romanchock 0 0-0 0; Kendra Stanford 0 0-0 0; Tiana Garvin 0 3-4 3; Jefferson McGill 3 0-0 7; Jordyn Kloster 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 14-22 66.

Mercyhurst (60)

Nicolete Newman 7 1-5 16; Emily Shopene 4 3-4 12; Lauren Lapertosa 2 1-2 12; Amber Renz 1 3-6 5; Meghan Komendarek 2 0-0 4;Kori Sidwell 3 0-1 6; Jenna Kunst 2 2-2 6; Rachel Chessar 1 2-2 5; Eliza Oswalt 0 1-3 1. Totals 22 13-25 60.

Lock Haven 18 22 7 19–66

Mercyhurst 10 14 21 15–60

3-pointers: Lock Haven 8 (Devine 5) (Taylor 2) (McGill 1); Mercyhurst 3 (Newman 1) (Shopene 1) (Chessar 1).

High Scorer: Rileigh Devine, 28

Records: Lock Haven (6-1); Mercyhurst (1-6)

Next: Lock Haven at Gannon, Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m.