Knights string together six


The Gannon University women’s basketball team extended its win streak to six games with two victories last week against California University of Pennsylvania, 71-63, and at Seton Hill, 81-62.

The victory against California came on Thursday, a day later than originally scheduled due to the death of Cal student-athlete Shanice Clark.

The Cal women came in ranked No. 24 in the nation, according to the USA Today Top 25 poll.

Gannon, which improved to 13-4 overall and 12-2 in Pennsylvania State Athletic play, raced to a 36-23 lead at halftime, and held off a late rally to defeat the Vulcans.

Nettie Blake paced the Knights with 19 points and nine rebounds, with Mollie Sebald and Morgan Neighbors adding 14 points each.

Coach Jim Brunelli’s Knights won handily at Seton Hill, with standout performances from Blake (18 points, 15 rebounds), Brittany Batts (14 points, four rebounds, four assists), and Brianna Brennan (five points, seven rebounds, four blocks).

Gannon dominated the opposition on the boards, outrebounding the Griffins 50-27 and holding them to 39 percent shooting for the game.

Sebald said that the team has really come together after the holiday break.

“We’ve been playing for each other and don’t care who scores — it’s all about getting the win,” she said. “Coach has us really focused and buying in to our system.”

Junior point guard Amanda Berchtold has stepped into the starting point guard role and excelled at distributing the ball, dishing out 77 assists on the year with only 28 turnovers.

Berchtold reaffirmed that playing together as a team has been the key to the Knights’ longest win streak of the year.

“The Cal game was a big one since they were first in the PSAC, and our run at the beginning of the second half gave us a big lead against Seton Hill, and we finished the game with a lot of energy,” Berchtold said.

The Knights’ depth and experience has continued to shine through as other teams falter, and the team now stands tied for second place in the PSAC West with California, one game behind Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The Knights will get back on the court at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Slippery Rock as they push toward making the playoffs. Gannon will match up against the Rock’s D’Asia Chambers, the second-leading scorer in the PSAC, averaging 16.9 points per game.

Slippery Rock currently sits at the bottom of the conference with a 7-11 overall record and a 3-11 mark in PSAC play.

The Knights will then return home to the Hammermill Center for a showdown against rival Mercyhurst (8-12, 5-9) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

That matchup doubles as the first half of the Pink Zone doubleheader, in which the Knights raise money to fight cancer, in part by the sale of T-shirts at the game. The Knight women also will be wearing pink uniforms during the game to raise awareness.


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