Scots rip off 8 straight wins, accumulate individual accolades between semesters
Story first appeared in Jan. 29 edition of the Spectator.
JOHNSTOWN – The Edinboro women’s basketball team had a rough start to the season, going 5-3 before its one-week break for final exams.
Since then, the Fighting Scots rattled off eight straight wins with a ranking of 10-3 dating back to Dec. 3 and capped it off on Saturday with an 86-75 victory against Pitt-Johnstown.
Edinboro began its victorious stretch back on Dec. 6 against local rival Mercyhurst where the Scots emphatically won 91-64 over the Lakers. Boro earned a non-conference win the following day, 72-64, over Virginia State, which was not as close as the score indicates.
The Scots hit the road and brought their luck with them. Edinboro swept their crossover games against Cheyney, Millersville, Shippensburg, Kutztown, Mansfield and Lock Haven. Offensive production was key in those wins against the PSAC East with the lowest point total for the ladies being 65, against Millersville.
Amidst the team victories, a few individual triumphs occurred. Head coach Stan Swank won his 500th game piloting the Fighting Scots. The 28th year coach became the 25th head coach in Division II history to win 500 games when Boro defeated Millersville 65-58 on Dec. 17. Swank, who is the PSAC all-time leader in coaching victories, has over 600 wins in his career as he won 104 games in four seasons at the helm at Parkland Junior College in Champaign, Illinois.
“500 wins just means I’m old,” Swank stated in a release from the university’s sports information department. “What it really means is that I’ve had a lot of great players like [this year’s team]. People that play it hard to get it accomplished.”
Graduate student Laurel Lindsay achieved an individual accolade of her own over winter break as the South Park, Pennsylvania native became the 29th Edinboro women’s basketball player to join the 1,000 point club. Lindsay dropped 12 points in a road-loss to rival Gannon on Jan. 10 to eclipse the plateau.
However, it was junior Aignee’ Freeland that stepped up on Saturday against the Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats. The York, Pennsylvania native went 12-13 from the field and 5-6 at the free throw line to accumulate a season-high 29 points.
Swank did not like the lack of looks Freeland was getting at the basket earlier in the season, but he is happy now.
“When she gets the ball, she can score,” he said on Saturday. “She did that today. We have been working a lot, and put in a couple new wrinkles in the offense that are focused on getting her the ball. We are trying to get more of an inside, outside type of game. I thought they did a great job today of that.”
The victory propelled the Scots to 13-5 overall and 10-4 in the PSAC.
Boro took advantage UPJ’s sloppy play, translating 21 turnovers into 32 points.
The victory was all, but sealed early in the second-half when the Fighting Scots came out on a 19-5 scoring run powered by Freeland and classmate Lauren Hippo as the two poured in all the points in the stretch, giving the squad a 56-30 lead with 14:24 left in the contest.
After a sluggish start followed by a winning streak, the ladies find themselves in a more stable and predictable spot, right in the thick of the postseason hunt in the PSAC.
“I’m real excited about where we are at,” Swank admitted. “I think we are just getting ready to take off. I think we are playing much better than we did. I don’t think we played well against Clarion, but this bye week helped us as far as being able to address some issues and work on some things, mainly defensively. I think we will keep it up and it will propel us going forward.”
The ladies visit Cal (Pa.) on Saturday and host Gannon on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m.
EDINBORO 86, PITT-JOHNSTOWN 75
EDINBORO (13-5, 10-4 PSAC)
HIPPO, Lauren 4-12 0-0 9; LINDSAY, Laurel
5-8 0-0 12; FREELAND, Aignee’ 12-13 5-6 29; RIABCHENKO Anastasia 1-1 2-2 4; MAJEWSKI, Valerie 0-8 0-0 0; BOWEN, Alexis 1-1 0-0 2; MOORE, Maggie 4-5 2-2 10; JAHN, Lindsey 0-0 0-0 0; JOHNSON, Nicole 1-3 2-2 4; ALLEN, Whitney 0-1 2-4 2; BROWN, Raven 0-0 0-0 0; MANCINI, Hope 5-9 2-2 14. Totals 33-61 15-18 86.
PITT-JOHNSTOWN (9-9, 6-8 PSAC)
Rizzo, Olivia 2-7 5-6 10; SLEIGHTER, Kelsey 8-11 8-8 28; CARMAN, Nicole 6-11 0-1 2; CORCORAN, Nicole 0-1 0-0 2; McCABE, Olivia 1-2 1-3 3; HARPER, Jasmine 6-10 0-0 12; HANSEN, Leah 0-1 0-0 0; DeCriscio, Kayla 1-4 0-0 3; TABON, Jamie 0-1 0-0 0; ARAMINA, Agnese 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 26-50 14-18 75.4
Edinboro………………….. 37 49 – 86
Pitt-Johnstown……………… 25 50 – 75
3-point goals—Edinboro 5-14 (HIPPO, Lauren 1-7; LINDSAY, Laurel 2-2 MAJEWSKI, Valerie 0-1; MANCINI, Hope 2-4), Pitt-Johnstown 9-15 (RIZZO, Olivia 1-2; SLEIGHTER, Kelsey 4-5; CARMAN, Nicole 3-4; Corcoran, Nicole 0-1; DeCRISCIO, Kayla 1-3).