The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Knights remain perfect

The Gannon University women’s basketball team remained an undefeated 5-0 after posting wins Saturday and Sunday over Millersville and West Chester universities, both of which had been undefeated until confronting the Knights.

Coach Cleve Wright said he attributes the weekend’s successes to solid defensive play, namely an effective protection of the rim, which was consistent in both contests.

This was no mean feat, as the Knights recently lost a key defensive player in Becky Innes to an injury that she said will sideline her until January.

“I think people are certainly accepting their roles and doing things they haven’t had to do in the past,” he said. “Defensively we took a step in the right direction.”

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Junior forward Kelsey McCoy said the Knights draw a lot of their success from being able to play well under pressure.

“We’ve gone through some tough practices lately, but it’s helped us push through adversity in games,” she said. “When our backs are against the wall we stick together.”

Millersville had been averaging 77 points per game, but was held to a season-low 64 on Saturday. The Knights surpassed their opponents in the final second of the game with a 3-pointer by senior guard Caitlyn Lowe steering them to the 66-64 victory.

“Caitlyn has really good range – she was probably 4 or 5 feet behind the three – and she can hit that shot,” Wright said. “She didn’t hesitate.”

Lowe, who had been quiet offensively for the majority of the game, came up with two clutch 3- point attempts down the stretch, one of which was the game-winner.

Wright also said part of the reason the Knights were so successful in stemming the flow of Golden Ram offense was the ability of the younger players to pick up the system quickly.

“We have a lot of players learning the system for the first time and they’re really doing a good job of paying attention and applying those things in games,” he said. “When you do those kinds of things, win or lose, it’s going to be positive – whether it’s now or down the road.”

Sophomore forward Jennifer Papich, who is not unfamiliar with Wright’s system, was named Monday as the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West women’s basketball player of the week. Papich had a strong offensive weekend for the Knights, accounting for 42 percent of the team’s offense, averaging 24.5 points and shooting 59.4 percent from the floor.

The one blemish on the Knights’ stat sheet over the weekend was turnovers. Gannon posted a season-high with 25 turnovers against West Chester, most of which were walking calls, though Wright said this was out of character for the Knights and something he does not expect to see in future games.

“I felt like we got a little hurried,” he said. “Instead of moving quickly, we were moving hurried, and I don’t think you make good decisions when you’re hurried.”

With finals week and winter break looming, Wright said the Knights will look to stay sharp in upcoming home matchups against Cheyney and Shippensburg universities at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday, and will travel to face Urbana on Dec. 17.

The team will practice around the final exam schedules of the players, but the NCAA requires that coaches give their players off from Dec. 20-26. Wright said it will be up to the individuals to be ready to go when they return, as the team will be jet setting off to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Jan. 29 for two games.

“When they’re here it’s easy,” he said. “When they’re gone it’s up to them and their commitment. Seven days is a long time. It puts ownership and responsibility on the athletes to do what they need to do.”

McCoy said she thinks the Knights will be able to keep their edge even during the most stressful part of the semester.

“We have the mentality that we’re preparing to win every day,” she said. “Anybody on our team can be an offensive threat at any time, but at the same time we all love to play defense.”

Wright said he thinks the key to continuing the hot streak is focus and taking it one day at a time.

“It’s a long season,” he said. “Right now we just need to think about Cheyney. Actually, I’m just thinking about practice tonight.”


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