Women's basketball takes up PSAC challenge

11-5. To say that the record for the Mercyhurst College women’s basketball team is impressive is perhaps an understatement. And still, things are about to pick up even more as the women have entered competitive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West play. Not only do the Lakers want to win games, but doing well in the conference means a lot to the team.

“We’re part of a special program here at Mercyhurst,” freshman Dana Banda said. “This is the first time Mercyhurst women’s basketball has had a winning season since the late ’90s, and they haven’t made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1995.”

Mercyhurst College sophomore Megan Hoffman drives into the lane in the Lakers’ 70-65 victory over over Edinboro University lastMercyhurst College sophomore Megan Hoffman drives into the lane in the Lakers’ 70-65 victory over over Edinboro University last Wednesday.It means a lot to the team to change things around for the women’s basketball program at Mercyhurst.

“We have the potential to change that perception and the conference games are going to prove this,” Banda said.

The PSAC conference games will be intense. Getting into PSAC play is a lot different than regular season games. The teams are competitive, the games are challenging and winning these games means a chance for the Lakers to make it to the NCAA tournament in March.

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and Edinboro rivals down the street are both very good teams and the Lakers know they must prove themselves against in order to get to where they want to be.

Last Wednesday, the women were able to make steps toward their goal by defeating Edinboro University, 70-65, at home. Junior Amy Achesinski led the team with 22 points.

Another move in the right direction was the Lakers’ victory over Lock Haven University on Saturday. Junior Samantha Loadman scored a striking 31 points, being the first individual this season to break 30 points in a single game. Loaman’s contribution helped result in the 86-71 win for the Lakers.

Banda says that defense has recently been a huge assistance and has really picked up since the beginning of the season.

“We have been able to stop other key players on teams, or at least hold them, because of the trust in our teammates on defense,” Banda said.

Believing in each other is helping the team progress and will make them ready to take on the challenge the PSAC has to offer. The Lakers are now ready to travel to Clarion University Wednesday, Jan. 27, in their fifth PSAC match-up.