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
  • EFHS #11 PITCH -TS.jpg Bolander no-hits FSHS in 1-0 win: PHOTOS

    Jacob Bolander is known affectionately by his East Fairmont teammates as “BoBo.” After his performance Thursday, the Bee baseball team might have to change that nickname to “No-No.”
    The right-handed ace tossed a no-hitter against No. 3 Fairmont Senior in a 1-0 win over the cross-town rival at Mary Lou Retton Park.

    April 25, 2014 8 Photos

  • m #14- W #91, 44 sack-ts.jpg White tops Maroon in spring game: PHOTOS

    As spring games go Thursday night's annual Maroon and White clash at Fairmont State's Duvall-Rosier went pretty much to form.
    The White (defense), using a modified scoring system which awarded them points for stops, turnovers, three-and-out series and other things, recorded a 34-21 victory over the Maroon (offense).

    April 25, 2014 7 Photos

  • FSHS girls’ lacrosse wins on Cancer Awareness Night

    “Ring around the rosey, a pocket full of posies. Ashes to ashes, we all fall DOWN.” 
    With that last word, “down” filling the air around East-West Stadium Thursday night, Fairmont Senior put a new play into motion and scored one of its 17 goals on the night in a 17-2 win over visiting Wheeling Park.

    April 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU depth chart sends messages

    Perhaps the most impressive thing about the depth chart West Virginia University put out at the end of spring practice was that the coaches were able to put out a depth chart, which certainly is an improvement over a year ago when the Mountaineers were really short on quality players.

    April 25, 2014

  • WVU baseball hosts K-State in Big 12 clash

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series thisweekend at Hawley Field.
     Game one begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
    Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Morgan Hoke -ts.jpg Polar Bear tennis sweeps East: PHOTOS

    Last week East Fairmont’s girls’ tennis team beat Fairmont Senior, 4-3.
    Wednesday at Fairmont State University, the Polar Bears returned the favor with a 5-2 win over their cross-town rival.
    Alissa Link won No. 1 singles, 8-4. Morgan Hoke won No. 3 singles, 9-7. And Avery Towns won No. 4 singles, 8-5, for the Polar Bears.

    April 24, 2014 8 Photos

  • Falcons set for spring game

    Football is back … well, kind of.
    Today at 7 p.m., Fairmont State will hold its annual Maroon & White spring game at Duvall-Rosier Field. The scoreboard won’t mean a whole lot since it’s little more than a glorified scrimmage. Instead, here are five things to watch during today’s game.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Hillberry commits to Wesleyan

    Last year Emma Harrison and Kaitlyn Conaway teamed up with Alexis Hillberry to win several relay medals at the state track meet.
    Though the two West Virginia Wesleyan runners are now in college, they helped to pass the baton to Hillberry Wednesday when she signed her National Letter of Intent to join her former teammates on the Bobcats’ track team.

    April 24, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos