The Times West Virginian

Sports

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
Sports
  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

  • Speedy Shazier making quick impression

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end. Others focused on his blazing speed and saw a safety.
    Not Shazier.

    July 31, 2014

  • Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tourney opener

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

  • Scott sees swift title contention for Lakers

    Byron Scott was a key component of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Showtime teams, a smooth shooting guard with sizzling competitive fire. He believes his purple-and-gold championship pedigree makes him the ideal coach to return the struggling 16-time champions to NBA contention.
    “This organization is all about championships, period,” Scott said Tuesday at his introductory news conference. “We don’t look at Western Conference finals, Western Conference championships. We look at (NBA) championships. And we know we have some work ahead of us, but I’m excited. ... I love challenges anyway, so this is going to be fun.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Opinion: People running NCAA may not be bumbling idiots

    Two down, one big one to go.
    And with it a growing realization that maybe the people running the NCAA aren’t the bumbling idiots everyone has been making them out to be.
    The NCAA’s agreement Tuesday to create a $70 million fund to diagnose concussions and brain injuries does more than just give some former and current athletes a bit of peace of mind — if no real money. It also extricates the organization from another serious threat to its existence, one that could have potentially bankrupted it if everyone who ever suffered a concussion playing college sports were somehow able to cash in.

    July 30, 2014

  • Steelers Camp Footbal_time2.jpg Bell looking for more decisive, productive season

    Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw.
    There were times during his rookie season when the Pittsburgh Steelers running back would place his hand on an offensive lineman’s back and wait patiently for the hole to open.
    Sometimes, one would appear. Sometimes it wouldn’t, mainly because whatever sliver of daylight existed had already been swallowed by darkness while Bell was still trying to read the blocks in front of him.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings