LHU Women’s: Bald Eagles get win in home-finale versus ESU
By BILL ALBRIGHT
Express Sports Writer
LOCK HAVEN — Four days after securing a postseason berth with a big win over West Chester, the Lock Haven women’s basketball team returned home to face East Stroudsburg in the 2019-20 season home finale on senior night.
As for the game, the Bald Eagles defeated a good East Stroudsburg team 60-48, but that was only part of the story as three seniors — Rileigh Devine, Jordyn Kloster and Mary Pillot — were recognized and honored for their contributions to the LHU program for the past four years.
“Mary had some problems in her efforts to transfer, but she played a big part in our program,” said LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. “It has been a really good group, both on and off the court. We are going to miss all of them, obviously Rileigh because she filled the record books. We love all of them equally and I couldn’t have asked more from them.”
As for the game, the Eagles played a solid game (with the exception of turnovers) featuring a suffocating defense that held one of the better teams in the PSAC to less than 50 points.
“That is a very good East Stroudsburg team,” said a happy LHU head coach Jennifer Smith. “Tonight we went a little deeper down the bench and everyone did a good job of stepping up. We turned the ball over 22 times, which is bad, but we overcame that by getting stops when we needed them.”
Defensively, the Bald Eagles never gave the Warriors an opportunity to get into any kind of rhythm for the entire game by featuring the outstanding defensive effort.
“We did a really good on the defensive end,” said Smith. “Bink (Redman) did a real good job on one of their top players. They are a very good offensive-rebounding team and we held them to eight second-chance opportunities.”
The Bald Eagles led from the opening tip, showing an advantage of four points midway through the period until they settled for a 10-8 lead at the first turn. Still leading 19-18 with four minutes left in the second period, the lead see-sawed back-and-forth for the final four minutes of the period until the Bald Eagles took a 25-22 lead at halftime.
During the first two periods, the game was tied four times with eight lead changes along the way. One big reason why LHU had the lead halfway through the game was a 14-0 edge in points off the bench.
Coming out of the break, the Bald Eagles scored the first four points for a 29-22 lead, but the Warriors responded with four of their own, cutting the LHU lead back to three at 29-26 four minutes in.
With neither team unable to gain any separation, LHU ran off the final five points of the period to lead by nine heading home and they never looked back.
Although she didn’t play one of her better overall games, just the presence of Devine on the floor was a big factor in the energy level of the Bald Eagles.
“They are a good team, but after getting the berth in the playoffs, we came into this week with a lot of confidence,” said Devine. “Going into the playoffs we are in a good spot. Tonight was a total-team effort. Everyone who stepped onto the floor stepped up big and helped us win. We know now that we are capable so we are going to do everything we can to win.”
Taylor Leidy led LHU in the scorebook with a dozen points. Leidy was followed by Jaynelle Robinson with 11 and Bink Redman with 10. One of the smaller players on the floor, Redman showed a lot of hustle as she hauled in 12 rebounds for a double-double. Robinson also hit for a double-double when she also pulled a dozen missed shots off the glass to go along with her 11 points.