Lutz throws block party in Lyco win

RALPH WILSON/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Lycoming’s Erica Lutz, rear, shoots over Alvernia’s Abbie Zerbe during a MAC women’s college basketball game Wednesday at Lycoming College.

Erica Lutz didn’t need to leave the paint. She was plenty effective down low and that’s not even including her 15 points, with 12 of those in the paint.

The stoic sophomore made up for a lackluster shooting night with a spirited defensive effort as she led a Lycoming defense which forced contested jumpers and locked down the paint to the tune of seven blocked shots, including a career-high six from Lutz.

The Warriors held Alvernia to 27 percent shooting and held off a second-half rally as they won their fourth straight, 70-45, Wednesday evening at Lamade Gym.

Lycoming (12-4 overall, 6-1 MAC Commonwealth) got whatever it wanted on offense and consistently got easy shots at the rim. The Warriors probably should have hit better than their already impressive 49 percent from the field.

But the defense was there all game. Except for a 13-2 run in which Alvernia hit outside jumpers, including two 3-pointers, the Warriors’ defense kept the Golden Wolves out of the paint. Lutz’s blocks forced Alvernia farther and farther away from the basket as 25 of its 56 shots were 3-pointers.

“It’s amazing because last year she really did do a good job of blocking shots. I don’t know if it’s because she’s a lefty and they’re always going up with their right and her left hand is there. Let’s just go with that,” Lycoming coach Christen Ditzler said of Lutz. “She does well with her timing and Erica does a good job of not getting herself in foul trouble considering her blocks … She saves us a lot.”

With Lutz was leading the defense with six blocks, which was one off the school record, Kayla Kline put together another impressive offensive performance. The junior matched a career-high with 24 points and added eight rebounds and four assists.

Alvernia had trouble breaking into the paint all game, and as the game wore on and Lutz’s block totals racked up, the Golden Wolves drifted away from the paint. They hit just 8 of 25 three-pointers and other than that 13-2 run which cut an 18-point deficit down to five, the Golden Wolves struggled. Except for a 22-point third-quarter, they scored in single digits in the other three quarters, including seven in the first and fourth quarters.

“They have some really good outside shooters. They have some legitimate shooters and we had to get out on them,” Ditzler said. “Certainly Erica prevented some layups from happening, but we have to do a better job of not letting the passes get in so far that she has to block shots. It’s good that she blocked all those shots, the bad thing is how was she able to block that many shots?”

Lycoming turned up the pressure after that 13-2 run and went to a man defense. That move coincided with the Warriors going on 22-4 run to increase their lead to 18. Lycoming outscored Alvernia, 23-7, in the fourth quarter for the 25-point win.

“Defensively that’s the one thing that we’ve been working on and we will continue to work on. I think now as we enter the second half of the season … everybody knows tendencies, everybody knows who the shooters are and it gets harder to score in the second half of the season,” Ditzler said. “You’re going to see lower scoring games in my opinion, at least historically that’s how it’s happened. Defense is really where you have to pick it up.”



ALVERNIA (3-12 (0-6 MACC))

De Vito,Gabriella 5-19 2-2 15; Zerbe,Abbie 3-13 0-0 9; Cooper,Maya 1-5 5-6 8; Malin,Erin 3-7 0-0 6; Zerbe,Torie 2-7 0-0 5; Robinson,Jannelle 1-3 0-4 2; Greggs-Poindexter,Na 0-2 0-0 0; Walker,Kaylie 0-0 0-0 0; Manning,Katie 0-0 0-0 0; Caridi,Victoria 0-0 0-0 0; Orban,Amber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-56 7-12 45.

LYCOMING (12-4 (6-1 MACC))

Kayla Kline 11-16 1-2 24; Erica Lutz 7-18 1-1 15; Akilah McFadden 4-8 1-5 10; Kelly Vuz 3-4 0-0 8; Becca Painter 2-5 1-1 5; Jenn Grove 2-2 0-0 4; Megan Helminiak 1-2 0-0 3; Shelby Schoonover 0-3 1-2 1; Courtney Treude 0-0 0-0 0; Alex Jones 0-1 0-2 0; Sydney Purcell 0-2 0-0 0; Ryanna Lamoreaux 0-0 0-0 0; Allison Wagner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-61 5-13 70.

Alvernia 7 9 22 7 — 45

Lycoming 16 12 19 23 — 70

3-point goals–Alvernia 8-25 (Zerbe,Abbie 3-7; De Vito,Gabriella 3-12; Cooper,Maya 1-3; Zerbe,Torie 1-2; Robinson,Jannelle 0-1), Lycoming 5-11 (Kelly Vuz 2-2; Megan Helminiak 1-2; Kayla Kline 1-1; Akilah McFadden 1-2; Shelby Schoonover 0-2; Becca Painter 0-2). Fouled out–Alvernia-None, Lycoming-None. Rebounds–Alvernia 32 (Zerbe,Torie 7), Lycoming 46 (Kayla Kline 8). Assists–Alvernia 11 (Orban,Amber 3), Lycoming 24 (Allison Wagner 6). Total fouls–Alvernia 16, Lycoming 13. Technical fouls–Alvernia-None, Lycoming-None. A–143.