Kaitlin Snyder and Hailey Garrett combined for 43 points to help lead Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons to their third consecutive victory, 87-78, here Monday evening over visiting West Virginia State at the Joe Retton Arena.
Snyder, who is one of the nation’s leading scorers, finished with a game-high 23 points, 13 of which came in the decisive second half. Garrett, on the other hand, chipped in 20 points, 12 of which came in the final 20 minutes.
“We’re trying to get on a little roll here as the regular season winds down,” said Garrett, who also grabbed six rebounds and recorded three steals in the victory. “Our goal is to keep playing hard and to keep improving.
“Tonight wasn’t our best performance. We know we have things to work on and correct, but the good thing is we recognize our mistakes and we know what we need to do to fix them.”
FSU, which ran its record to 13-7 overall and to 10-6 in the West Virginia Conference, also climbed one spot into seventh place in the 15-team league standings. The win sets up a showdown Thursday on the road in Greensburg, Pa., with sixth-place Seton Hill University. Game time for that contest is 5:30 p.m.
As noted, Fairmont’s performance Monday night certainly was not without error. The Lady Falcons turned the ball over 18 times, gave up a whopping 20 offensive rebounds to State and oftentimes found themselves getting beat to loose balls by the scrappy Lady Yellow Jackets.
However, with the contest on the line and FSU clinging to a one-point lead with just over 11 minutes left to play, the Lady Falcons gathered themselves and delivered the knockout blow in terms of an 11-0 run that saw six players score during a span of about four minutes.
“Tonight’s game was a classic case of us playing well when we had to,” said FSU coach Steve McDonald. “The first half we didn’t play particularly well for the entire half and yet we were only down two when I felt State was shooting the ball about as well as they could.
“In the second half we came out with more intensity and built a lead. They cut into it and got it to one and then I loved the way we reacted to that. We can take some positive things out of this one. I want us to play a little smarter down the stretch and recognize time and score a little bit better, but that’s certainly things we can keep plugging away on and get better at here during the next few games.”
FSU raced to an 11-2 lead to start the game, but then got a bit sloppy with its play and let State back in it. In the final 17:20 of the opening half the Lady Yellow Jackets outscored Fairmont 41-30 to take a two-point advantage at the break.
“For the first time all season coach Mac raised his voice in the locker room at halftime and I think that let us know for certain that we weren’t playing very well,” said Snyder, who also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals to go along with her game-high 23 points. “We knew we had to step it up in the second half and I think for the most part we did.
“Even though tonight’s win wasn’t the prettiest thing in terms of our overall play, we ended up with a victory and moved up into seventh place in the league. Now our goal is to improve and to try to keep making moves.”
Emily Lohr added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Lady Falcons, while Tiffany Nicholson chipped in 12 points and Kelsi Wright contributed nine.
State, which fell to 9-11 overall and to 6-10 in the league, got 20 points from Asia Greenleaf, 18 from Kashauna Cook and 15 from Jasmine Blanton. Maria Femia, who transferred to State after last season from FSU, chipped in eight points and six rebounds off the bench for the Lady Yellow Jackets.