LHU women’s basketball knocks off unbeaten Seton Hill
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Express Sports Writer
LOCK HAVEN — Hoping to use the Thanksgiving break to heal some bump and bruises, the Lock Haven women’s basketball team was hoping to feed off a solid win over Slippery Rock prior to Turkey Day.
Looking fresh and rejuvenated, the momentum was still there from their latest outing as they handed Seton Hill its first loss (6-1) of the season by the final of 70-61.
“We are a really deep and balanced team this year,” said LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. “If the girls see one of their teammates struggling a little bit they step up and help. They take over to make things easier. We still made a lot of mistakes today, but with 20 turnovers we found a way to win. We beat an undefeated team so things are moving in the right direction for us.”
Seton Hill asserted itself early as it opened the game with a 6-0 run four minutes into the game until Marena Lonardi stopped the run with a traditional 3-point play.
Sparked by Lonardi’s trey, LHU outscored the Griffins 10-3 for their first lead (10-9) with three minutes left in the period before extending their advantage to 18-14 at the first turn.
Continuing to score at will, the Bald Eagles opened up a double-digit lead (26-16) three minutes in the second period before settling for a 38-34 lead at halftime.
Picking up the defensive intensity that turned into offense, LHU outscored Seton Hill by a 20-9 spread in the third period for a 58-43 lead at the turn for home.
Although the Griffins cut the LHU lead back to single digits in the fourth quarter, the lead was never in jeopardy as the Bald Eagles put the lid on one of their biggest wins in some time.
Ahnera Parker has been a big force on the floor for the Eagles and Saturday was no different as she led all scorers with 24 points and five boards. Joining Parker with doubles in the scorebook were Rileigh Devine with 13 and Taylor Leidy with 10.
“She has been coming up big for us,” said Smith of Parker. “She has been working hard and seems more relaxed this year than in the past so we are going to continue to push her to play like the all-conference player she is.”
Devine is getting closer to mid-season form with five boards to go along with her points while pretty much running the show.
“Rileigh is a senior and right now she is playing like a senior,” praised Smith. “She wants to go out with a team that wins a lot of games and she is not afraid to step up, take charge and do whatever we need her to do to win games.”
“This win was huge for us,” said Devine. “We had a lot of time to prepare for them so we had a good idea of anything they were going to do. Today we put those pieces together and won the game. I think my ability to make good decisions goes back to my experiences from before. I have a much better idea now of when we have to rush and when to back it out and just play our game. We have a lot of young players coming in so to help them along and let them know that I have their backs is really important.”
Jaynelle Robinson and Bink Redman led the Bald Eagles off the class with eight boards each, Leidy returning to the lineup to add six boards and three assists to her point total.