The Mercyhurst women’s basketball team started strong but failed to hold the lead, resulting in a 85-78 loss to the Shippensburg University Red Raiders on Feb. 3. Unfortunately, the men’s team fell in the second game of the doubleheader to the Red Raiders 66-56 to round out the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action. Mercyhurst took the lead within the first two minutes of the game with a basket from Lauren Lapertosa. The Lakers held their lead for the remainder of the first quarter, but the Red Raiders came back and took the lead in the second quarter. The Red Raiders would then carry the lead until time expired.
For the Lakers, Maria Lapertosa led the team with 16 points. Emilee Norris managed to record her third double-double of the season, with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Amber Renz and Lauren Lapertosa contributed 13 and 12 points respectively to round out the top for the Lakers.
Although the Lakers fell to the Red Raiders on the final scoreboard, they managed to out-rebound them 43-35. The Lakers also claimed 24 points from nonstarting players, while the Red Raiders claimed zero. “This game was a speed bump for us,” said Laker Stephanie Petery. “(But) if we buckle down and really focus, we can win our next few games and still have a chance at a spot in the PSAC playoffs. We are all staying positive for our upcoming games.”
On the men’s side, the Lakers and the Red Raiders headed into half-time tied 34-34. Following intermission, the Red Raiders took the lead and held it for the remainder of the contest.
For the Lakers, Malcolm Walters had 12 points. Patrick Smith contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers. Stephen Spurlock Jr. had 11 points, and Derrick Ellis Jr. had 10 points.
The Lakers managed to out- rebound the Red Raiders, 33-28. However, they struggled from the field, only making 20 out of 56 versus the Red Raiders’ 23 for 46. Three-point range saw equal scoring from the Lakers (6 for 13) and the Red Raiders (6 for 19).
The women (9-13) hit the court again when they host Slippery Rock in another PSAC contest on Feb. 7. That game will tip off in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center at 5:30 p.m. The men’s team (10-10) will follow-up the action at 7:30 p.m. against the same opponent. Earlier in the season, Slippery Rock beat both teams 60-57 (women) and 77-57 (men). Slippery Rock’s record is 10-12 and 18-5 respectively.