Women’s basketball plays at home


Gillian Mazur, Editor-in-chief

This past weekend, the Mercyhurst Women’s basketball team started their season in the PSAC vs MEC Challenge hosted by Mercyhurst University. This tournament consisted of four non-conference games, which took place on the newly renovated Owen McCormick Court. The games were all played back-to-back on their respective days but allowed each team to get at least one day’s worth of rest.

The participating universities were the University of Charleston, West Liberty University, California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U.) and the host and home team, Mercyhurst University. The Lakers’ first game this season was played against the University of Charleston Golden Eagles on Nov. 13 which the Lakers lost by eight points.

“Unfortunately, both games did not turn out the way we wanted, but we are going to learn and grow from these games heading into PSAC play,” said Redshirt junior guard, Julia Buchman. “Charleston and West Liberty are both very good teams and will help us get through our highly competitive PSAC schedule. We have a lot of talented players on our roster and we have high goals for this season, so the way we respond to our first two losses will show what we are made of.”

The game was lost in the first half after being outscored by the Golden Eagles. Despite outscoring them in the second, it was not enough to pull out the win. Buchman, had 14 for the Lakers’ game high and redshirt freshman forward, Grace Centrulla, came in second with 10. In the first quarter, Centrulla put the first two on the board for both teams, but it was not enough as the Golden Eagles hit a shooting streak scoring 12 points.

The Lakers and Golden Eagles were both able to score a few more times before the end of the first resulting in a 29-9 score going into the second. In the second quarter, the Lakers were outscored again and the Golden Eagles led with a 17 point deficit. Both teams managed to hold each other’s attempts off in the third until Buchman hit a three around the two minute mark. Finding their energy as a team, Mercyhurst was able to turn the tide of the game, outscoring Charleston 10-8.

Charleston fought hard in the fourth and was able to put 18 points on the board while the Lakers managed to claw their way back to the competition in the last five. The Golden Eagles held possession away from the Lakers after building themselves a seven-point lead. The final game for the evening consisted of West Liberty University versus Cal U. which was played at 7:30 p.m.

The next day the winners of both games played each other, Cal U. versus the University of Charleston at 3:00 p.m. Cal. U came out on top for both games with 76-60 and 63-54 wins respectively. The second game for the Lakers, but the fourth game in total, occurred on Nov. 14 at 5:00 p.m.

Mercyhurst University faced the West Liberty University Hilltoppers and lost for a second time in one weekend. Starting the game right, both teams exchanged leads multiple times in the first quarter. By the end of the first buzzer, the Hilltoppers took the lead 20-14. The Lakers finished the first half strong just narrowly missing enough to be outscored 20-18. With a 40-32 lead, both teams definitely put up a battle in the second quarter.

Coming back from the locker room, the Lakers performed the best once again in the third out-scoring their opponents 21-15 and closing in on the score’s gap to two points. Junior guard, Jayde Boyd, scored the final points for the third with a layup, free throw and hit a three which was assisted by redshirt freshman guard, Paige Woodford.

West Liberty took a 62-55 lead early in the fourth, but the Lakers carried on and ended up on a scoring streak to tie up the game. In retaliation, the Hilltoppers took over the lead once more and held off the Lakers’ attempts until the buzzer.

“I think the last two games were a great learning experience for our team. Both Charleston and West Liberty challenged us and we learned that we can’t shy away from adversity. As a team we definitely need to grow in confidence offensively and to trust each other,” said Centrulla.

The Lakers are taking the losses in stride,

“despite the two losses, our program is moving in the right direction, and I’m excited to get after it on Wednesday and bounce back,” said Centrulla.

With no PSAC or home games until December, Laker basketball fans can watch some of the team’s upcoming games on livestream. Times, dates and links can be found on hurstathletics.com. The next two games will both be played in Ohio at Notre Dame College (Ohio) on Nov. 17 at 6:00 p.m. and on Nov. 20 at 1:00 p.m. versus Ohio University. The Lakers’ first PSAC game will be played on Dec. 3 at Shippensburg University at 5:30 p.m.