Scots avenge early season loss to Gannon, clinch PSAC playoff berth in OT thriller
Story first appeared in the Feb. 12 edition of the Spectator.
The Edinboro-Gannon rivalry, matched with Make-a-Wish Awareness Night, brought a large crowd to McComb Fieldhouse.
The Fighting Scots women’s basketball team thanked the large group of spectators with some free basketball.
The ladies (15-6 overall, 12-5 PSAC) defeated local rival Gannon, 55-54, in a back-and-forth overtime thriller which delighted fans, split the season series with the Golden Knights and clinched a PSAC tournament spot for Boro.
The Scots got out to a quick start, especially in the paint, spearheaded by junior Aignee’ Freeland. The York, Pa., native scored 14 of her 16 total points in the first 12 and a half minutes of play, due in large part to her adversary, 6-1 Nettie Blake, sitting on the bench with foul trouble. Blake logged only six minutes and two points in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Golden Knights fought back in the second half, as Gannon enjoyed a 20-9 scoring run in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The Scots tied it up again though as a Nicole Johnson, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds, jumper knotted the game at 40 apiece with 9:36 left in the first half.
That didn’t last too long as Gannon rallied off five straight points, but back-to-back threes from Val Majewski and Lauren Hippo surged the Scots into a one-point lead with 4:47 left in regulation.
Despite head coach Stan Swank’s displeasure with the guard play lately, and in the first half of this contest, he knew he could trust them down the stretch.
“You’ve got a graduate student, a senior and junior,” he said in reference to Laurel Lindsay, Majewski and Hippo. “Given the chance, they are going to do a lot of the right things. They are going to make the right decisions. It’s not like having a freshman or a sophomore out there. They just did what they needed to do and got it accomplished. They showed so much heart and presence.”
A Lindsay layup with 1:01 showing on the clock knotted it at 48, sending the game to overtime, the first contest this season for the Fighting Scots that could not be decided in 40 minutes.
The Golden Knights blew out of the gate in the extra period, notching the first six points by way of two treys, from Brianna Brennan and Morgan Neighbors.
Despite that surge, the Fighting Scots weren’t rattled, according to Lindsay.
“They hit some lucky shots in the beginning,” she said. “It wasn’t because of anything we were necessarily doing. We were up on the ball. We were doubling down. Sometimes the ball doesn’t go your way and that’s what happened in the beginning. It didn’t really get us discouraged because we had a lot of time.”
Lindsay was the one who took advantage of that remaining 3:30 rattling off the next five points for Boro by herself, first with a layup followed by a three-pointer to cut Gannon’s lead to 54-53.
Following a missed layup by Blake with under 30 seconds left in overtime, Lindsay grabbed the rebound, raced down the right sideline and dished it to Freeland, who found Johnson under the basket who fought off a Golden Knight to secure the pass and finish the layup to grab the winning score with 15 seconds remaining.
“Our records not as good as its been in the past,” Lindsay said after the win. “So, I think any win is a good win and any time you beat Gannon, it is extraordinary. We were really pleased.”
Edinboro hosts Indiana (Pa.), who was the fifth-ranked team in Division-II at time of press, on Saturday at 1 p.m. and visit Clarion on Wednesday before returning to McComb to host Pitt-Johnstown on Feb. 25, in the regular season finale.
*Editor’s Note: Edinboro defeated Mercyhurst, 77-51, on Saturday afternoon at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center, improving to 16-6 overall and 13-5 in the PSAC.
EDINBORO 55, GANNON 54
GANNON (15-5,14-3 PSAC W)
NEIGHBORS, Morgan 5-13 0-0 13; BLAKE, Nettie 4-10 3-4 11; BATTS, Brittany
3-10 0-0 7; BRENNAN, Brianna 2-3 0-1 5; THIES, Jennie 2-5 0-0 4; SEBALD,
Mollie 2-7 0-0 4; BERCHTOLD, Amanda 2-6 0-0 4; SAUNDERS, Lanise 2-4 0-0 4;
HENDRICKS, Candice 1-3 0-0 2; SHIVES, McKenna 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-61 3-5
EDINBORO (15-6,12-5 PSAC W)
FREELAND, Aignee’ 7-16 2-2 16; LINDSAY, Laurel 5-13 0-0 13; JOHNSON, Nicole
6-8 0-2 12; MAJEWSKI, Valerie 2-9 1-2 7; HIPPO, Lauren 2-10 0-0 5; MOORE,
Maggie 1-3 0-0 2; ALLEN, Whitney 0-1 0-0 0; MANCINI, Hope 0-5 0-0 0. Totals
23-65 3-6 55.
Gannon…………………… 25 23 6 – 54
Edinboro…………………. 31 17 7 – 55
3-point goals–Gannon 5-21 (NEIGHBORS, Morgan 3-8; BATTS, Brittany 1-7;
BRENNAN, Brianna 1-1; SEBALD, Mollie 0-3; BERCHTOLD, Amanda 0-2), Edinboro
6-20 (LINDSAY, Laurel 3-6; MAJEWSKI, Valerie 2-4; HIPPO, Lauren 1-6;
MANCINI, Hope 0-4).