The Times West Virginian

Duane Cochrane

March 15, 2013

Lady Falcons set to battle No. 7 Gannon

ERIE, Pa. — For the third time in six years, Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons will be making an appearance in the NCAA Division II National Basketball Tournament.

This time, however, Fairmont’s women are hoping for a different outcome in their Atlantic Regional opener. After suffering opening-round losses in 2008 and 2010, Fairmont has a chance to reach the round of 32 for the first time since 2005, but accomplishing that feat may be easier said than done,

Standing in FSU’s way is top-seeded and seventh-ranked Gannon (Pa.) University – the team that bounced the Lady Falcons from the 2010 Atlantic Regional with a convincing 92-65 victory.

Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at Gannon University’s Hammermill Center. The eighth-seeded Lady Falcons come into the contest 23-9 overall and riding a seven-game winning streak after claiming the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the Atlantic Regional by winning the annual league tournament championship almost two weeks ago.

Gannon, on the other hand, lost in the title game of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, 74-57, to Bloomsburg (Pa.) University last Saturday. Prior to that the Lady Golden Knights (28-4) had won seven straight and 13 out of 14 games.

“Obviously you’re not ranked seventh in the country and 28-4 without being a very good basketball team,” said FSU coach Steve McDonald. “They also get to play at home where they’re very tough to beat, so in that respect they have an edge on us. We’ve watched several films on them and because our tournament ended a week earlier than theirs did we’ve had the opportunity to see them live three times. Hopefully, that will negate some of their advantage.

“At the same time, though, they have very good shooters, a very strong inside game, they’re very deep and they’re very well coached. I do believe there are several scenarios where we can win, and it’s our job as coaches to try to create those scenarios for our team.”

Gannon is 13-0 in home games this season and currently has a 14-game home-court winning streak dating back to last season. The Lady Knights, who are 5-1 all-time against the Lady Falcons, average 70.6 points per outing and only allow 58.5. Gannon also averages over seven made 3-point field goals per game and is outrebounding its opponents by 7.5 per contest.

The Lady Knights, like Fairmont, rely on a balanced offensive attack which has three players averaging in double figures. Gannon is led by Jen Papich, a 6-foot junior forward, who averages 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds. She’s led Gannon in scoring 11 times this season.

Brittany Batts, a 5-7 sophomore guard, averages 11.7 points per outing and set the school’s single-season record for made 3-pointers with 97 this year. She currently ranks first in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (45.8). She’s led Gannon in scoring 10 times this year.

Nettie Blake, a 6-1 sophomore forward, averages 11.2 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds per contest. The Lady Knights also get 7.1 points per outing from 5-7 sophomore guard Doriyon Glass, 5.1 points and 5.4 assists from 5-6 junior point guard Kelly Sundberg, and 8.8 points off the bench from 5-10 sophomore guard Mollie Sebald.

“They’re a very talented team,” said FSU senior guard Tiffany Nicholson. “They have very good shooters and a good inside game which complements them. We’re going to have to contest their outside shooters and try not to give up anything easy inside. That’s going to be a big challenge for us.

“They’re also a fairly young team, so we want to try to put pressure on them defensively.”

Fairmont, which averages 66.8 points and allows 61.8 per game, is led by senior point guard Kaitlin Snyder, who averages 17.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. The Lady Falcons also get 13.6 points and a team-best 9.1 rebounds per game from sophomore center Hailey Garrett. Senior guards Briana Welch and Nicholson add 8.9 and 8.7 points respectively for the team, while sophomore forward Emily Lohr chips in 8.1 points per contest.

“For us it’s really pretty simple,” said McDonald. “We need to go out Friday night and give our best effort. I think if we give our best effort we’ll have an opportunity.”

First-round action in the Atlantic Regional kicks off here today at noon with defending national champion, third-seeded and 14th-ranked Shaw (N.C.) University (25-4) taking on sixth-seeded and 15th-ranked Glenville State (26-3). The 2:30 p.m. contest will feature second-seeded and 19th-ranked Edinboro (Pa.) University (22-6) battling seventh-seeded California (Pa.) University (20-8). The final game this evening will take place at 8:30 p.m. and pit fourth-seeded Indiana (Pa.) University (22-8) against fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Bloomsburg (Pa.) University (24-5).

1
Text Only
Duane Cochrane
  • FSU team.MW.jpg Lady Falcons have high expectations for next season

    Despite having to replace a trio of talented starters, including All-America point guard Kaitlin Snyder, from a team that finished 23-10, won the final West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament, Fairmont State University’s 2013-14 Lady Falcons came close to heading back to the so-called “Big Dance” this year.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FSU’s rally falls short against ’Toppers

    Twenty minutes into Saturday night’s Mountain East Conference semifinal-round showdown between top-seeded and No. 3 ranked West Liberty and fourth-seeded Fairmont State here at the Charleston Civic Center the Falcons looked down and out.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper leads FSU past Bobcats, 70-62

    Brendan Cooper played liked a first-team all-league selection even though he strangely wasn't, and Chase Morgan did what he does best in the game's final 1:18 – hit shots.
    The result was a 70-62 Fairmont State victory over fifth-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan Friday evening in the quarterfinals of the Mountain East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.

    March 8, 2014

  • Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State

    In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
    Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.

    March 7, 2014

  • FSU women roll in MEC Tourney opener

    Fifth-seeded Fairmont State didn't waste any time Tuesday night punching its ticket for Charleston and earning a berth in the Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.

    March 5, 2014

  • FSU #20 HANG TIME -TS.jpg Falcons edge Shepherd, earn first-round bye: PHOTOS

    The scenario Saturday afternoon on Senior Day for Fairmont State's men's basketball team in its regular-season finale against visiting Shepherd University was pretty simple.
    Win and receive an automatic first-round bye in the upcoming Mountain East Conference Basketball Tournament. Lose and host a first-round game Tuesday night at the Joe Retton Arena.

    March 2, 2014 8 Photos

  • FSHS #33-SU #35 -TS.jpg Innocent, Garrett star as Lady Falcons roll: PHOTOS

    Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Joe Retton Arena Fairmont State senior Brianna Innocent was anything but that against visiting Shepherd University.
    The 6-foot-1 backup center came off the bench and torched the Lady Rams in the regular-season finale for 27 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead FSU to a 103-80 victory.

    March 2, 2014 7 Photos 1 Story

  • Cooper, Browning, Morgan lead FSU to OT win

    Brendan Cooper made sure his homecoming to the Cleveland area was a memorable one here Tuesday night at the Murphy Gymnasium.

    February 26, 2014

  • Lady Falcons blow late lead, fall to NDC

    Fairmont State’s chance to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament suffered a serious blow here Tuesday evening at the Murphy Gymnasium.

    February 26, 2014

  • FSU #11-WL #13-TS.jpg Falcons knock off No. 3 West Liberty, 93-81: PHOTOS

    There was pandemonium Saturday afternoon at mid court at the Joe Retton Arena.
    And with good reason.
    Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team snapped a 14-game losing streak to No. 3 West Liberty here yesterday by knocking off the regular-season Mountain East Conference champions, 93-81.

    February 16, 2014 8 Photos

House Ads
Featured Ads