Neighbors’ 31 leads Gannon past ‘Hawks

Neighbors%E2%80%99+31+leads+Gannon+past+%E2%80%98Hawks

Morgan Neighbors exploded for a career-high 31 points as Gannon snapped a three-game losing streak after beating Indiana (Pa.), 81-66, at the Hammermill Center Tuesday night.

Gannon improved to 6-3 overall and boasts a record of 4-1 in PSAC play after beating the Hawks, who  fell to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the PSAC.

In the first quarter of play the Knights were trailing, 18-16, until the last second when Neighbors put in a layup as the buzzer sounded to tie the score going into the second quarter.

The Knights had a comfortable lead going into the half with a score of 36-25. The Crimson Hawks caught up by the end of the third quarter when they trailed by two, 56-54.

In the final quarter of play the Knights turned up the heat and went on a scoring run to seal the win.

During the game Neighbors was unaware of her accomplishment but was thrilled learning about it after the win.

“I had no idea until they told me, but it was a lot of fun,” Neighbors said.

Neighbors was even more thrilled about breaking their losing streak and attributed the win to the team’s strong communication and heightened energy level during practice.

“The win felt great — it’s exciting to get back on the right track. I know this team has a lot in store and I knew it was going to come, we just had to get in the groove.

“It starts on defense and getting everyone to talk constantly raises the energy,” she added.

Coach Jim Brunelli highlighted the team’s performance Tuesday after losing the last three games.

“I was proud of their effort because no one hung their head—that’s what you need to do.”

To change the momentum of the team, Brunelli emphasized a few key aspects of the game throughout practice leading up to tonight’s performance.

“Focus and energy because I didn’t feel we had it in our losses; we had it at times but that has to be a constant,” he said. “You have to be on the court like you want to be there.”

Brunelli expects to continue that momentum going into future practices.

“When you’re on a three-game losing streak there’s no momentum, you have to dig deep and these ladies did,” he said. Brunelli was nothing but happy for Neighbors as she celebrated her career-high in points.

“She puts in the time, she makes time to come in and put shots up just like a lot of players on our team. The hard work’s going to pay off.”

Up next the Knights travel to Lock Haven to take on the Bald Eagles at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

 

BRANDON JACES

[email protected]