Women’s Hoops: LHU takes out Millersville 82-75
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Express Sports Writer
LOCK HAVEN — Coming off a big win on the road at Bloomsburg, the Lock Haven University women’s basketball team was hoping to get back on the winning trail when it hosted Millersville.
Taking the initial lead and surviving several runs by the Marauders, the Bald Eagles walked off with an 82-75 win at Thomas Field House.
“It definitely wasn’t pretty at times,” said LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. “We let them crawl back at us several times when they capitalized on our mistakes, but every win in the East is good because they are hard to get. We just have to keep moving on and although we struggled a little at times, we had enough going for us to win it.”
The Bald Eagles came out of the locker room, running to an 8-3 lead three four minutes into the first period, a lead they extended to 18-12 at the first turn.
Working on both ends of the floor, the Eagles led by as many as 12 points before settling for a 37-30 halftime lead. Rileigh Devine led the Eagles during the half, draining four of five treys for a dozen points.
“Usually when we go through lulls like we did tonight I feel that I have to pick it up,” said Devine. “Usually when I hit the first one, the next one seems to be easier.”
Out-rebounding the Marauders 26-19 in the first half, the Bald Eagles held a huge 17-0 edge in points off the bench. However, one area that could have hurt the Eagles was putting the Marauders to the charity stripe where they were a perfect 17-for-17.
“You don’t see a team shoot a hundred percent from the line very often, especially when they shoot that many,” said Smith. “Hats off to them for their effort in that category.”
Ville kept battling until they cut their deficit to four, but LHU had an answer as Devine nailed her fifth trey of the game just as time ran out in the third period.
“There were times where they could have let them go on a run on us, but we didn’t let it happen,” said Smith. “One of the keys was that Ahnera (Parker) and Rileigh stepped up big for us when we needed it. Some of the girls didn’t have their best offensive games and that is why their efforts were so important by carrying the load for us.”
Still hanging around Ville trailed by two with seven minutes left in the period. However, not to let things get away from them, the Eagles picked up the intensity on both ends of the floor as they ran to the score to the final.
Devine led the Bald Eagles in the scorebook, but she also hauled down six rebounds and dished out three assists.
“The last couple games starting with IUP we would get a lead and then let it dwindle,” said Devine. “Tonight it seemed as though we learned that we aren’t going to let that happen, sort of like putting up a sign saying it just isn’t going to happen.”
Joining Devine in double figures were Parker with 20 points and Marena Lonardi with a baker’s dozen.
Now 10-7 overall and 7-5 in the PSAC, the Eagles stay home Saturday when they host Shippensburg in a 1 p.m. tipoff.
“Ship is doing very well and they are one of the top teams in the East,” Smith said. “We have two days to prepare for them and the two teams match up pretty well so hopefully it will be a fight.”