Women’s basketball shows up big, wins Porreco Pride of Erie Game

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The Gannon University women’s basketball team broke even last week, losing 59-54 to Indiana University of Pennsylvania — one of the nation’s top Division II teams — Saturday after whipping Mercyhurst on Feb. 12, 76-49.
The split left Gannon with an overall 19-6 record and a 15-4 mark in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play going into Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. matchup with Clarion at the Hammermill Center.
Tori Obenrader got the scoring going in the first quarter against crosstown rival Mercyhurst. The Knights held the Lakers without a field goal for just over the first three minutes of the game.
Holding a 15-11 lead heading into the second quarter, Gannon went on a 10-3 run, led by Chelsea Rourke.
Rourke scored six points during the run, which helped the Knights build their lead to 25-14.
Another run, this time a 12-2 spurt at the end of the first half, helped Gannon open up a 35-16 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the two teams battling back and forth. Five straight points from the Lakers were matched by five straight points by Obenrader and Rourke early on in the quarter.
Sydney Mitchell and Rourke connected from 3-point range out of a timeout, but Mercyhurst matched those baskets with a 7-0 run of its own.
Gannon was able to score two straight baskets, both from Haley Tewes, to extend its lead back to 20 points at the end of the third.
A 22-point fourth quarter helped secure the win for Gannon. Stingy defense in the first half – Gannon allowed only 16 points and five in the second quarter — was the driving force yet again for the Knights.
Tewes was named the Game Changer of the contest, as she scored 17 points and was an efficient 8-for-14 from the field.
Rourke led the Knights with 18 points while Mitchell contributed 14 and Obenrader 13 as Gannon swept the season series from the Lakers.
The Knights then traveled to play one of the best teams in the country on the road Saturday and came up just short.
Back-to-back 3-pointers for Gannon, courtesy of Mitchell and Rourke, helped Gannon tie the game 8-8 early on in the first quarter.
Tewes then provided the Knights with six straight points to give them a 16-12 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter was low scoring for both teams, as Gannon tallied just nine points and only one field goal under the five-minute mark. IUP led 25-23 at halftime.
The third and fourth quarters were back-and-forth..
Gannon led 46-45 on a Tewes layup with 5 minutes, 38 seconds to play in the game, but IUP used an 8-0 run to build a 53-46 lead with 1:40 remaining.
The Knights tried to claw their way back at the end of the game, as Mitchell connected from the free-throw line to cut the Crimson Hawks lead to three at 53-50 with 31 seconds left.
However, IUP – ranked No. 4 in Division II in one poll — was able to connect on its free throws when needed, and the Hawks came out with a five-point win.
Following Wednesday’s meeting with Clarion, Gannon will return to action at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when Slippery Rock visits the Hammermill Center.
That will be the Knights’ final regular-season home game of the season.

MICHAEL MARSICO
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