Men’s and women’s basketball wrap up seasons


Gannon University’s women’s basketball team celebrates a 73-60 victory over rival Mercyhurst University in the Porreco Pride of Erie game Saturday at the Hammermill Center.

Alex Pepke, Sports Editor

Gannon University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams concluded their regular seasons over the weekend in a shortened, non-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) year. The women’s team finished 13-1 while the men’s team ended with a 10-4 record.

The women’s team ended its regular season on a nine-game win streak, with its only loss coming to No. 13 Daemen on Jan. 29. The Knights beat rival Mercyhurst in back-to-back games to end the year with a 65-47 win Wednesday followed by a 73-60 victory Saturday.

It was not an easy season for Gannon despite its one-loss record. The team had six games canceled and lost Tori Obenrader to a season-ending injury. Obenrader was the Knights’ leading scorer at the time of her injury, averaging 12.6 points per game.

Losing Obenrader forced others to step up, and Sam Pirosko rose to the occasion. Pirosko led the team with a 15.9 points-per-game average, finished second in total rebounds and was fourth in total assists.

Gannon’s win on Saturday marked its third win over Mercyhurst this year and six straight victories against the Lakers.

Delaney Dogan won the game changer award after tallying 17 points and 10 rebounds against Mercyhurst. This was the team’s last game at home, and it meant more than a usual game.

“It’s a great feeling,” Dogan said. “We love playing at ‘the Mill’ and wish we could play every game here. It means a lot to get the win here on the last game of the season.”

Coach Cleve Wright knows that beating any team three times in one year is not an easy task, but when it’s a rival, it makes it all the more challenging.

“That was a great game,” Wright said. “They (Mercyhurst) have studied us, they do a great job coaching and those kids play with a lot of energy. It was a great test for us, and I was really proud of our kids.”

Unfortunately for Wright and his team, Gannon was left out of the NCAA Division II tournament with its 13-1 record, which brings the season to an end.

Gannon’s men’s team finished its season with back-to-back games against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, winning 80-75 Thursday and losing 67-56 Saturday. Braden Olsen scored 25 points in Thursday’s win and put up double-digit point totals in the last five games of the year.

Thursday’s win was Gannon’s first over IUP since the 2017-18 season.

The Knights were led by a trio of guards this season in Chris Clancy, Olsen and Ike Herster. Clancy was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14.5 points per game, followed by Olsen and Herster with 13.8 and 12.7 points per game, respectively.

The Knights got to play nine of their 14 games at home in this non-PSAC sanctioned season and got out to an 8-0 start before dropping four of their last six games.

Gannon was ranked as high as No. 21 and played four games against ranked opponents Daemen and Mercyhurst, going 2-2 in those matchups.

Looking ahead to the 2021-22 season, the hope is that normal PSAC play will pick up once again as both teams will look to battle for playoff spots in the conference.

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