Winning their past two games, the Mercyhurst College women’s basketball team has evened its record at 3-3.
This past Wednesday, the women conquered Wheeling Jesuit University in a 70-66 win at home.
The Lakers controlled the scoreboard most of the first half with freshman Dana Banda hitting two 3-pointers, adding eight points, while freshman Amy Achesinski knocked in seven. Still, the Lakers were down by one at halftime, 32-31.
But after intermission, fans at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center saw a different team. The women came out firing. Shots from Banda, senior Jackie Artise, and sophomore Nikki Frederickson helped the Lakers take the lead. With 46 percent shooting from the field, the Lakers came out on top.
However, offense was not the only thing that won the game for Mercyhurst. Great defensive rebounds from the Lakers, and over 40 rebounds in all, allowed them to hold off the Cardinals’ offense and win the game.
At the conclusion, Banda lead the Lakers’ offense with 16 points and five assists. Achesinski contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds. Together, the team played very well. This seems to be the emphasis for the season, according to Achesinski. As a team, she says, they are ready to take on all their challenges.
“My expectations for the season are high. I feel as though we have a strong team this year, and the incoming freshmen have already contributed a lot,” Achesinski said.
The Lakers’ confidence is high, and although the PSAC is very competitive, Achesinski said she knows Mercyhurst women’s basketball can have a great season.
“With such depth on our bench, we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to matching up with other teams, which works to our advantage,” she said.
Team members know they won’t get anywhere without each other; their team has a tight bond. And this bond will bring about changes this season.
“Our team for the past two years was definitely in a transition period due to change in coaches and being very young,” Achesinski said. “For that reason, I feel like Mercyhurst women’s basketball has finally reached the year where people are going to see changes.”
May this be the warning to competition in the 2009-2010 women’s basketball season? The Lakers have what it takes to dominate.