The Times West Virginian

January 5, 2014

Streaking Urbana tops Lady Falcons, 69-62


Times West Virginian

URBANA, Ohio — Red-hot Urbana University wiped out an 11-point, first-half deficit and rolled to a 69-62 victory over visiting Fairmont State University here Saturday afternoon at the Grimes Center.

The victory was the seventh in a row for the Lady Blue Knights, who improved to 8-1 overall and to 5-0 in the Mountain East Conference.

FSU, on the other hand, fell to 4-4 overall and to 2-3 in the league.

Fairmont dominated the contest early opening a 20-9 lead over Urbana in the first game for both schools following the holiday break. The Lady Falcons, however, couldn't maintain their momentum as their offense went south in the final 6:12 of the opening half and the first 6:43 of the second half. During that 12:55 span Urbana, which trailed FSU 27-18, outscored the Lady Falcons 30-9 to open a 48-36 lead with 13:17 left to play.

“I think we kind of got flustered when they started coming back,” said FSU junior center Hailey Garrett, who scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the loss. “Because of that we started to rush shots and passes and definitely got careless with the basketball. We have to find a way to keep our composure in close games and when teams are putting pressure on us.”

Fairmont turned the basketball over 18 times in the loss, including 10 in the first half and eight in the second many of which came at crucial points in the game on bad passes.

When it looked like Urbana was prepared to blow out FSU down the stretch the Lady Falcons re-grouped and made a game of it until the waning seconds. Led by Garrett, fellow junior forward Emily Lohr and freshman guard Deidra Combs Fairmont battled back and got within three at 65-62 with 25 seconds remaining. FSU, however, would get no closer as Urbana canned four free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the victory.

Lohr, who battled first-half foul trouble, finished with 13 points and six rebounds for Fairmont, while Combs tied her college career-high for points with a dozen.

FSU also got nine points from Makenzie White, who was just 2-of-10 from the field shooting and seven points from Hallie Gunnoe, who finished just 2-of-7 from the floor.

The MEC's leading scorer DeVonyea Johnson led Urbana with a game-high 22 points, 15 of which came in the second half. The Lady Blue Knights also got 13 points and six rebounds from Katy Barkley and 11 points apiece from both Kate Francisco and Ebany Brumfield. Brumfield also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Fairmont State will remain on the road and be back in action Monday when it visits Notre Dame College for a 5:30 p.m. conference contest.

“This road trip is going to be a deciding factor for the rest of our season,” said Garrett. “In order for us to do well the rest of the year we really need to step it up.

“It's unfortunate we lost this game today because we really needed the win, but we need to somehow pull ourselves together and get a victory Monday night at Notre Dame.”