The Times West Virginian

Sports

March 3, 2013

Champions again: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

FSU rallies for third title in six years

CHARLESTON — Call it title town.

For the third time in six years, Fairmont State University’s women’s basketball team claimed the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament championship at the Charleston Civic Center.

Led by tournament most valuable player Kaitlin Snyder’s 18-point and 12-rebound performance, the third-seeded Lady Falcons erased a 12-point second-half deficit and rolled to a 65-54 victory over fifth-seeded Seton Hill.

“It’s amazing,” said Snyder, who also claimed the heart and hustle award at the tournament and passed Kristen Gattuso (2,041) in Saturday’s victory to become the Lady Falcons’ all-time leading scorer with 2,046 career points. “Who wouldn’t want to end their senior year like this? My freshman year when we won it was special, but this one, with me being a senior, has much, much more meaning to me.

“The 2010 team was outstanding, but our team this year has unbelievable team chemistry. I mean that. It’s phenomenal and it’s a big reason we were able to win this title.”

The victory, FSU’s seventh in a row, improved the Lady Falcons to 23-9 overall on the year and earns them a bid in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament which will be played at a site yet to be determined March 15-18.

“I’m awfully proud of our kids,” said veteran FSU coach Steve McDonald, who improved to 3-0 in the league tournament title games. “The last three weeks they’ve played at an extremely high level. I’m telling you 95 percent of the credit for this goes to the players.”

Trailing 32-20 early in the second half Fairmont flicked the switch and became a completely different team than the one that connected on just 9-of-24 field goal attempts and turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 10 times in the first half. Led by sophomores Hailey Garrett, Hallie Gunnoe and Emily Lohr, FSU exploded on a 22-4 run over the course of an 8:18 span to take control of the contest for good at 42-36 with 9:19 left to play.

Garrett, who along with Snyder and Briana Welch was a member of the all-tournament team, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Falcons. Eight of her points came on the 22-4 spurt. Gunnoe, like Snyder, posted a double-double performance in the victory. She ended up with 11 points and 10 rebounds and scored seven of her 11 points on the game-changing run. Lohr, meanwhile, ended with nine points, five of which came on the run.

“It’s kind of hard for me to even remember that but there came a point in the game where everything just started to click for us,” said Snyder. “We defended well. We executed our plays and got the ball inside which is what coach wanted us to do. We basically took the game to them.

“I know Hallie Gunnoe was big for us during that run. She was a spark for us the whole tournament.”

After Fairmont opened its six-point advantage the Lady Griffins, who finished the season at 19-13, never got any closer than four.

“This was a very, very intense game and at times in the second half we didn’t have the ability to score or get stops. We had breakdowns,” said Seton Hill coach Fern Labati. “The big difference was in the first half we had very few turnovers and we executed our game plan. In the second half they were able to force a lot of turnovers and we didn’t control the boards like we did early in the game and as a result the got a lot of second chances and took advantage of them.”

Paige Alviani and Katie Gattuso led Seton Hill with 18 and 13 points respectively. Alviani, who had 11 of her points in the first half, was held to just seven points in the second half by Fairmont State’s Tiffany Nicholson.

“Their number 23 did a great job of playing defense on me,” said Alviani. “She challenged every shot I got.”

FSU shot 58.3 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes (14-of-24), went 14-of-17 at the foul line in the second half. The Falcons also limited themselves to just four turnovers in the second half and ended up out-rebounding the Lady Griffins for the game by seven.

The victory was the third of the season for the Lady Falcons over Seton Hill. The first two meetings were both decided by one point, including a heated FSU win in Greensburg, Pa., just nine days ago.

“There’s no doubt we were motivated to play them today,” said FSU’s Garrett. “But whatever happened between us happened in the past and today our goal was to just come out and play our game. In the second half that’s what we did.”

For McDonald his third time as a WVIAC Tournament champion, was indeed a charm.

“When we came here and won in ‘08 it was special because it was the first time for a long time for the school,” he said. “The one in 2010 when Kaitlin, Tiffany (Nicholson) and Alana (George) were freshman was special too because of the group of kids we had, but this one today might just be the best one of all and in all honestly I can’t really say why. It just feels very, very special.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • NMHS #14 hit.jpg North Marion goes 2-for-2; Fairmont Senior 0-for-2 in tournament

    A day after an 11-0 mercy-rule victory at Philip Barbour, the North Marion Huskies were at it again.
    Chelsi Latocha threw three no-hit innings, Shelby King drove in five runs in the first inning and the Huskies rolled to a 20-0 victory over the winless Fairmont Senior Polar Bears in the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Brewers’ Lohse beats Pirates again

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bucs trade for Mets’ Ike Davis

    The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate.
    Pittsburgh sent minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named to New York for the 27-year-old Davis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Penguins wary of Blue Jackets after Game 1 escape

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 19, 2014

  • Tori Postlewait front.jpg East’s Postlewait, North’s Latocha toss no-hitters

    Tori Postlewait made a deal with her great-uncle, Kenny Carpenter, before her freshman season.
    If the Bees’ pitcher tossed a no-hitter, Carpenter promised to give her $20.
    Well, it took four years, but it’s finally time for Postlewait’s great-uncle to pay up.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • East tennis splits with Polar Bears

    Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
    In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos