Midway through the first quarter, Gannon fans thought it was the same script all over again. Their Lady Knights found themselves down 11-4 to Seton Hill at home, seemingly destined for a fourth-straight loss, and an end to a once promising season.
Then the Lady Knights of old showed up. Gannon obliterated Seton Hill in the second quarter by out-scoring the Lady Griffins 21-5, and held on from there to win 64-58, advancing to the PSAC quarterfinals.
These were the Lady Knights everyone in Downtown Erie is used to seeing. Hitting key shots and playing a playoff brand defense, to control the rest of the game after falling behind early. Gannon (17-10) closed out the dominant second quarter on a 13-0 run, and added the first five points of the second half to stretch their lead to 17, its largest lead it would build in the contest.
Seton Hill (14-15) tried valiantly to pull off another stunning fourth-quarter rally against the Lady Knights like it did back in mid-January. The Lady Griffins were countered anytime they tried to build momentum until an 11-4 run late in the fourth quarter which brought them within three, putting the pressure back on the Lady Knights. But Gannon ended the Lady Griffins season in the final minute by hitting five of its six free throws.
The biggest aspect was that Gannon survived the Lady Griffins at home without Jennie Thies in the lineup. The Lady Knights leading rebounder was injured early on Wednesday in their loss to Mercyhurst, creating a hole on the boards. Gannon fortunately had an unsung hero step-up in her absence in Brianna Brennan. The junior scored a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds to record her second career double-double; something Thies had done on a regular basis this season.
Behind Brennan, it was a balanced scoring effort across the board for the Lady Knights, finishing more than 40 percent shooting for the game. Gannon now will now travel to IUP Tuesday for their quarterfinal matchup, seeking to avenge a loss there from a month ago. Seton Hill was led by Lindsey Misfud scoring a team-high 15 points and was complimented with 11 points from leading-scorer Jenna Kaufman. Despite the loss, the Lady Griffins will look to be even stronger next season with just losing one senior.
Edinboro 61 Mercyhurst 42: Edinboro made it clear right away it was not going to give Mercyhurst any chance to knock them off early on in Saturday’s PSAC first-round contest. The Fighting Scots held the Lakers in single digits for the first two quarters, and cruised to an easy 61-42 win to advance to the PSAC quarterfinals. The Lakers jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but that was as close as they got to winning before Edinboro started making three-pointer after three-pointer. The Fighting Scots hit five three-pointers to close out the first quarter on a 17-2 run. Turnovers only dug the Lakers hole bigger, allowing the Fighting Scots to create more chances, and found themselves down 37-17 at halftime.
All Edinboro (20-9) did in the second half was just build its lead with consistent shooting, ending the Lakers season. After being embarrassed at California on Wednesday, the Fighting Scots got back to old ways of their own. Edinboro finished at a 47 percent shooting mark overall but most importantly; they drained eight three-pointers after laying a goose egg in that category against Cal. Katie Fischer led the onslaught against her former team with 18 points, being one of three Scots in double digits for the game. Michelle Jahn had a great playoff debut with 15 points after being held scoreless at Cal, and was nearly matched with Lauren Hippo’s 14 points. Edinboro will now get a rematch with Cal on Tuesday night on the road, seeking to erase the bad memories from last Wednesday. Mercyhurst (14-15) had just one player in double-digits scoring with Natalie Piaggesi compiling 14 points. The Lakers will return most of their lineup for next season, seeking to do some more damage in the PSAC.