Women’s basketball wins Porreco in a close game


The Gannon University women’s basketball team picked up a key victory Saturday at the Hammermill Center, defeating crosstown rival Mercyhurst in a 62-60 thriller.
Before the Porreco Pride of Erie game, Gannon honored three of its players — Elise Torrence, Lauren Tewes and Nicole LaCava, who played their final regular season home game for the Knights. The trio combined for 16 points.
Every one of those points was needed as the Knights and Lakers battled to the wire before Gannon pulled out the win to improve to 12-15 overall and 8-11 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play.
Gannon currently holds down the sixth and final PSAC tournament spot with two games remaining, including a 5:30 p.m. road matchup Wednesday against Clarion.
Against Mercyhurst, Gannon was led by Chelsea Rourke, who had a career-high 23 points.
Rourke earned the Porreco Pride of Erie Game Changer Award for her efforts as she hit 8 of 11 field-goal attempts and went 5 for 8 from the free-throw line in addition to picking up four rebounds.
The game was decided in the final seconds. Mercyhurst’s Eliza Oswalt’s layup with 21 seconds remaining put her team in front, 60-59.
Gannon’s Sydney Mitchell went up for the game-winner and her 3-pointer rimmed out with 12 seconds left, but Tewes rebounded the miss and dished it back out to Mitchell.
She then pump faked and drove hard to the rim, making the basket and giving Gannon a 61-60 lead with 5.7 seconds left.
Following a Mercyhurst turnover, Rourke was fouled and hit a free throw for the final margin.
Mitchell helped carry her team by scoring 15 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. She also put up four assists, three steals and a block in 34 minutes.
Tori Obenrader, who won the PSAC Freshman of the Week honor for the sixth time this season, added eight points and eight rebounds while LaCava contributed eight points and five rebounds.
This was a team effort with four different Knights – Obenrader, Mitchell, Tewes and LaCava — having at least five rebounds.
Following Wednesday’s game with Clarion, the Knights will close out the regular season with a 1 p.m. game at Slippery Rock Saturday.
If Gannon wins both of its last two games, it will secure a tournament berth. Otherwise, the Knights will need some help getting into postseason play.
Gannon defeated Clarion, 62-53, in the first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 21.
The Knights beat Slippery Rock, 75-69, in their most recent meeting. The Rock is on a three-game losing streak but is just a half-game behind Gannon in the PSAC West standings.
Of the seniors who were honored Saturday, LaCava had the biggest statistical impact for the Knights.
She leads Gannon this season with 356 points, 129 field goals made and 54 offensive rebounds, and is averaging a team-best 13.2 points per game.
james hanchett
[email protected]