Thursday, December 30, 2010

No. 21 Gannon Women's Basketball Team Concludes Tournament Play With 78-56 Victory Over Virginia Union

ERIE, Pa – The Gannon women’s basketball team bounced back from a loss yesterday at the Lady Bulldog Classic with a 78-56 win over Virginia Union to wrap up tournament action for the season.

The Lady Knights found themselves trailing for the first five minutes of the game after Alaura Jones scored the game’s first six points. A free throw from Jessie Tamerlano (North Royalton, Ohio / North Royalton) started the Gannon scoring, followed quickly by a jumper from Kelsey McCoy (Sylvania, Ohio / Sylvania Northview) to cut the lead to 6-3 at the 16:41 mark.

Danielle Tucker (Rochester, N.Y. / East) and Virginia Union’s Yuvonna Stevens would trade baskets before Gannon started on an 11-1 spurt covering just over two minutes. McCoy would drop in five points, while Tamerlano added four.

After a basket from Virginia Union, McCoy would nail her second three of the game to give the Lady Knights a nine-point lead. Gannon would stretch the lead thanks to a layup from Caitlyn Lowe (Gettysburg, Pa. / Gettysburg) and another jumper from McCoy that put the score at 32-19 with 3:39 left in the half.

Freshman Kelley Sundberg (Mansfield, Conn. / E.O. Smith) would add four points over the last two minutes to give Gannon a 36-25 advantage at the break.

The Lady Knights shot 41 percent in the first half compared to 43 percent for the Panthers. However, the Lady Knight used nine offensive rebounds to score eight second chance points and added 21 points off turnovers.

The Lady Knights opened the second half with seven straight points thanks to a jumper and a long-range shot from Julie Kleber (Suffern, N.Y. / Suffern). After a basket from Virginia Union, Gannon would add eight more points, holding a 52-27 advantage at the 14:38 mark. Jennifer Papich (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Fox Chapel) added four points during the stretch.

The Panthers would cut the lead to fifteen after a string of free throws and a pair of jumpers from Jones, but Gannon responded with baskets from Papich and Tamerlano to end any hope of a comeback.

As in the first half, Sundberg provided a spark for the Lady Knights in the final minutes, this time pouring in five points during the last 1:38 of the game.

McCoy’s 17 points were a new career mark for the sophomore. She was 7-of-10 from the floor including 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line. The three makes from long range are also a career best. She also added two rebounds a steal and an assist in the win.

Papich finished with 14 points after shooting 7-of-13 from the field. The true freshman added three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Tamerlano added 11 points, while Lowe finished with 10. Tamerlano finished with a team-high six assists also picking up two steals.

Kleber added seven points in the winning effort and was selected to the all-tournament team after scoring 28 points in two games.

In all, nine different Lady Knights scored and 11 pulled down at least one rebound. Gannon shot 55 percent from the field in the second half while holding the Panthers to 46 percent.

Alaura Jones led Virginia Union with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Gannon improves to 5-2 this season while Virginia Union is 0-7. Gannon returns home for a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) crossover game against Millersville on Monday, January 3. Tipoff is scheuled for 5:30 p.m. and will precede the men’s basketball game against Millersville.

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