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Lycoming women defeat Alvernia at home

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Lycoming's Kelly Vuz (11) shoots in front of Alvernia's Julia Ewen (24) in the second quarter at Lycoming College Wednesday.

When it is this late in the season, you cannot rely on one or two players to carry all the weight. Teams have scouted each other and everyone knows what their going to do.

You need a deep bench to be able to win games in February and March. Lycoming showed Wednesday night that its bench is capable of scoring and providing defense when needed. Megan Helminiak hit three huge 3-pointers to help propel Lycoming to a 62-52 victory over Alvernia.

Emily Zoscin also hit a 3-point buzzer beater to give the Warriors a six-point lead going into halftime.

“I think at this time of the year you need your bench play to produce because everyone has scouted, everyone knows what everybody is doing and you need players to step up and make some plays,” said Lycoming coach Christen Ditzler.

It was not just the bench, however, that showed up for Lycoming.

Akilah McFadden was all over the place for the Warriors and finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and six steals. She sealed the game at the end grabbing an offensive rebound off a missed free throw and converting it for an and-1. She was stepping into passing lanes and creating havoc on the other end of the floor all night long.

Ditzler was impressed with what she saw from her point guard.

“I thought she carried us today,” Ditzler said. “She was all over the place defensively and with Erica so heavily guarded in there we needed guards to step up and I thought Akilah did a nice job of getting to the rim and making some big plays.”

The Warriors did a great job as a team defensively as Alvernia never shot over 28% from the field after the first quarter. They forced 21 turnovers and players like Allison Wagner, Erica Lutz and Emily Zoscin were big all night, constantly grabbing offensive rebounds for second chance point opportunities.

“One of the things that we talk about is when we rebound we will win games and I thought we did a good job on the boards. I really did, especially on the offensive glass,” Ditzler said.

Things were starting to get tight in the fourth quarter after a Alvernia layup made it a three-point game with only two-and-a-half minutes left. But it only stayed that way for about 20 seconds as Megan Helminiak came down and hit her biggest shot of the night, her third 3-pointer to put Lycoming back up six.

After two Alvernia free throws, Lutz got fouled and made her first free throw. She missed the second, but the heroics of McFadden came into play as she grabbed the rebound and put it back in. McFadden made two more free throws a minute later to all but ice the game.

The Warriors need to win one of its last two games to ensure a playoff spot. Lycoming is at Albright on Saturday and hosts Stevenson in the regular-season finale Saturday, Feb. 22.

Lycoming 62, Alvernia 52

ALVERNIA (8-14,3-11 MAC Co)

Torie Zerbe 4-9 4-6 13; Gabriella De Vito 4-16 0-0 10; Dee McCormick 3-9 0-0 8; Abbie Zerbe 1-4 4-4 7; Cathryn Kramer 3-8 1-3 7; Julia Ewen 0-2 4-8 4; Jannelle Robinson 1-1 0-1 2; Amber Orban 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 16-51 14-24 52.

LYCOMING (15-8,8-6 MAC Com)

Akilah McFadden 7-17 5-12 21; Erica Lutz 6-13 1-2 13; Megan Helminiak 3-4 0-0 9; Emily Zoscin 1-4 3-4 6; Kelly Vuz 2-7 0-0 5; Morgan Mader 1-11 0-0 3; Sydney Purcell 1-2 0-0 2; Ryanna Lamoreaux 1-2 0-0 2; Kenzie Reed 0-0 1-2 1; Allison Wagner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-61 10-20 62.

Alvernia 18 10 8 16 — 52

Lycoming 16 18 10 18 — 62

3-point goals: Alvernia 6-22 (De Vito 2-10; McCormick 2-6; Zerbe 1-3; Zerbe 1-3), Lycoming 8-25 (Helminiak 3-4; McFadden 2-7; Zoscin 1-1; Mader 1-8; Vuz 1-4; Lamoreaux 0-1). Fouled out: Alvernia-none, Lycoming-none. Rebounds: Alvernia 41 (Ewen 12), Lycoming 47 (McFadden 11). Assists: Alvernia 9 (Orban 3), Lycoming 17 (Lutz 4; McFadden 4). Total fouls: Alvernia 18, Lycoming 19. Technical fouls: Alvernia-none, Lycoming-none. A: 285.

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