Knights beaten in first two games of season


The PSAC/CIAA Challenge was a tough way for the Gannon University women’s basketball team to open its season, as the Knights fell to both Virginia State and host Lincoln over the weekend.
In Friday’s season-opener, Gannon lost to Virginia State, 62-51, and then in Saturday’s matchup against host Lincoln, the Knights wound up on the short end of a 66-40 score.
Gannon will look to get in the win column when it hosts Shepherd in a 5:30 p.m. matchup Wednesday at the Hammermill Center.
In Friday’s game, the Knights were plagued by errors, as they surrendered 26 points off turnovers.
Virginia State used an 8-0 run to turn a two-point lead into a 10-point edge early in the second quarter and then the Trojans later used a 12-0 run to pad their lead to 35-17 with 2 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half.
The Knights trimmed the margin to nine twice during the third quarter and eventually pulled within seven points at 54-47 with a little over a minute to play.
But Virginia State used free throws down the stretch to put the game away.
Gannon’s Lanise Saunders netted the first double-double of her Gannon career while making her first start as a Knight, as she scored a game-high 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 26 minutes.
Maggie Mitchell added 11 points for the Knights.
Gannon used its inside strength to finish with a 32-20 advantage in points in the paint, but it was not enough to cancel the play of Nandi Taylor, who led Virginia State with 28 points.
The loss marked the first time the Knights had dropped a season-opener since losing to West Liberty in 2007-08.
Saturday’s matchup with host Lincoln proved even tougher for Gannon, as the team was done in by 26 turnovers and a 27 percent shooting performance from the floor.
Lincoln sprinted to a 19-9 first-quarter lead and increased it in the second quarter to lead 35-16 at halftime.
The Knights, led by Maggie Mitchell’s 14 points, never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.
Kelsey Herbert added seven points and five rebounds while Lauren Tewes contributed four points with six rebounds.
Amanda Okodugha led a balanced attack for Lincoln with 16 points.
Following Wednesday’s game against Shepherd, the Knights will make their PSAC debut this weekend in a two-game road swing against West Chester and Cheyney.
Saturday’s game against West Chester will start at 1 p.m., as will Sunday’s matchup at Cheyney.
Gannon’s next home game will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, against Ashland in the Hammermill Center.

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