Women’s Basketball: Playing Tough

Megan McKay, Staff writer

Mercyhurst Women’s Basketball has had a packed schedule this past week with games both home and away.
On Monday, Feb. 5, Mercyhurst faced off against IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) but after a hard-fought battle at home, they fell 64-82.
The Lakers had a good push from the start as they were able to put up a 9-0 lead and after the first quarter were winning16-13.
Before the half IUP started to change the tide as they had the lead by a small margin 27-28. Both teams played well in the third quarter as Laker Julia Buchman, hit three three-pointers. One of which was off a nice pass by Lexi Wagner who had 10 points herself. In the fourth quarter, IUP extended their lead but not without a solid effort by the Lakers. Despite the loss the Lakers showed resilience throughout the game. Sophomore Julia Buchman led the charge with 13 points followed by Bailey Kuhns (11), and Lexi Wagner (10). Looking to bounce back, the Lakers traveled to Slippery Rock Wednesday Feb. 8, but fell by a
score of 52-67. The Lakers once again had a great push at the beginning of the game when another crucial three-pointer by Julia Buchman gave the Lakers the lead for a short period before Slippery Rock took over. Jayde Boyd and Danielle Grim both had great two-way efforts to keep the Lakers in the game by half trailing 30-39. Boyd and Grim kept the momentum going in the second half when the pair had crucial baskets to put the Lakers within three, 41-44.
Despite strong defense by the Lakers, Slippery Rock remained in the lead after the third quarter, 46-52. The Lakers fought hard in the last quarter to cut the lead down but fell for a second night. Forward Grace Centrulla led the charge with 17 points followed by Danielle Grim (11). “Monday’s game was disappointing for us for sure, but playing at home in front of a pretty big crowd was an awesome atmosphere for us,” Centrulla said. “Against Slippery Rock, I just went into the game with an aggressive mindset and my teammates gave me great passes to score effectively. In order to win our upcoming games we have to play aggressively and confidently and leave it all on the floor with no regrets.” Centrulla described the team’s goal for the end of the season saying, “We have to play strong and play for each other, especially for some of the graduating seniors, we owe it to them to give 100% effort these last few games left in the season. As a team, we have great team chemistry off the court which I feel has translated into how we connect on the court.” The Lakers now sit in the eighth spot of the PSAC standings and have a difficult road ahead to the postseason playoffs. On a positive note, Mercyhurst closed out the week as the Lakers hosted California University of Pennsylvania Saturday earning a win. The Lakers held the lead early in the first quarter and into halftime 27-21. In the final minutes of the
third quarter the Vulcans were able to take the lead but not long before Bailey Kuhns tied it up 38-38. The fourth quarter then ensued and with four minutes remaining the Lakers were winning by a small margin before they were able to close out the game with a tough defensive effort. The Lakers secured their
twelfth win of the season by a score of 57-46, putting the team 12-11 on the season and 9-9 in conference play. Mercyhurst has been struggling to get out of a losing slump as of recent, but with Saturday’s win they showed they are capable of piecing together wins. The Lakers have put themselves in very close games but have struggled to close them out. However, Mercyhurst has proven to dominate offensively while playing structured. The remaining games in their
season will prove very important in order to secure their post season playoff push. The Lakers take the court again today, Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. against the University of Pittsburgh, followed by another home matchup Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. against Clarion.