Women, men capture close victories over UPJ


Nadya Makay/ Knight

The women’s basketball team rebounded from a Saturday loss to Seton HIll by rallying late to beat Pitt-Johnstown 66-61 to improve to 17-4.

Timothy Corso, Staff Writer

Gannon’s men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Seton Hill and Pitt-Johnstown in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday and Monday. 

The 25th-ranked women pulled off an exhilarating come-from-behind victory over the Mountain Cats, 66-61, Monday to improve to 17-4 overall and 12-4 in conference play. 

Down 51-49 with 2:48 left in the game, Knight guard Sydney Mitchell drained a 3-pointer to put Gannon up for good and complete the comeback. 

Mitchell also came up with a clutch steal and layup to push the Gannon lead to four with under 30 seconds left. 

Mitchell finished with 8 points, three rebounds and two assists in the win. 

Sam Pirosko had a team-high 12 points and hauled in six rebounds as well.  

Contrary to the final score, Gannon played from behind most of the game. 

Pitt-Johnstown stole the first quarter leading 15-8 after the frame. 

The Mountain Cats applied more pressure and grew their lead to 25-8 courtesy of a 10-0 run to open the second. 

The Knights would surge back and cut the deficit to eight at halftime, trailing 28-20. 

A big third and fourth quarter propelled Gannon to the victory, outscoring the Mountain Cats 18-12 in the third and 28-21 in the fourth. 

The women’s team wasn’t the only one that needed late-game heroics to defeat Pitt-Johnstown. 

The men’s team edged out a win over the Mountain Cats 67-66 thanks to late-game points from Rob Jonaitis. 

Gannon fell behind early 8-2 and then went on a 15-0 scoring run to go up 17-8. 

It would turn that run into a 43-29 halftime lead over the top team in the PSAC West. 

Pitt-Johnstown wouldn’t give up, though. 

Thanks to some big shots from Drew Magestro, the Mountain Cats would take their first lead since early in the game with 9:20 left to play. 

Magestro knocked down four 3-pointers en route to his 14 points. 

Jonaitis was assisted by Braden Olsen on a layup to cut the lead to 63-61 for Pitt-Johnstown. 

Following a pair of free throws split by Pitt-Johnstown’s Jared Jakubick, Olsen hit a jump shot in the paint to cut the Gannon deficit to one. 

Following a missed 3-point shot from Olsen on the ensuing Gannon possession, Jonaitis grabbed the offensive rebound and got fouled on the follow-up shot. 

Jonaitis knocked down both free throws to give the Knights a 65-64 lead. 

Jonaitis finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds, while Olsen poured in a game-high 23 points. 

Olsen also added nine rebounds and seven assists on the night. 

Pitt-Johnstown wouldn’t give up, though. 

With Gannon up 67-65, Magestro missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds that was rebounded by Kromka. He then heaved up a mid-range jumper that missed. 

However, Kromka was fouled by Demetrius Mims with 0.4 seconds left and would go to the line with a chance to tie and send the game to overtime. 

But Kronka missed the first shot, and inadvertently banked in the second shot while trying to miss, and the Knights held on for the win. 

Gannon improved to 12-7 overall and 9-6 in PSAC West play going into Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup at rival Mercyhurst. The Knights will then take on Indiana University of Pennsylvania at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hammermill Center before traveling to meet Edinboro at 7:30 p.m. Monday. 

For the Seton Hill games, the women fell in a close battle, 61-52, to the visiting Griffins, giving Seton Hill sole possession of first place in the PSAC West. 

The Griffin victory came on the heels of a 9-0 run in the final 6 minutes of the game after being tied at 52-52. 

Katie Nolan had four of the nine Seton Hill points in that run. 

Nolan had a game-high 24 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Griffins to victory. 

She also blocked a pair of shots. 

The game was back and forth all afternoon with Gannon trailing 16-10 at the end of the first quarter. 

However, the Knights outscored Seton Hill 20-13 in the second quarter to carry a slim 30-29 lead into half. 

Carrying the first-half momentum into the second, Gannon went on a 6-0 spurt to open the half up courtesy of Pirosko, who had all 6 points. 

Pirosko pitched in a team-high 23 points and hauled in seven rebounds. 

She also went an efficient 9-of-9 from the line in the game. 

However, Pirosko being the lone double-digit scorer for the Knights proved to be their downfall. 

The 52-point mark was the lowest scoring performance on the season for them. 

The women have three big PSAC West games in the next six days, as they take on Mercyhurst at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on the road and then host IUP at 1 p.m. Saturday before traveling to play Edinboro at 5:30 p.m. Monday. 

While the women’s team fell short, the men of coach Kelvin Jefferson had no trouble with Seton Hill, as they rolled to an impressive 95-64 victory over a Seton Hill team who had won just three games to date. 

The game was close early as Gannon led just 11-9. But the Knights went on a huge 22-4 run to stretch their lead to 33-13, and they never looked back. 

Lance-Amir Paul had seven of his game-high 32 points on that run. 

Paul also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out six assists while knocking down four 3-pointers and making 10 free throws. 


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