All Seton Hill’s women’s basketball team had to do was win Wednesday night and they were in the playoffs. They did not need any help nor worry about any other game. They just needed to simply win.
The Lady Griffins did that and more on their Senior Night, throttling second place IUP in the last two quarters, to eventually win, 68-54. Seton Hill has now made the playoff in all three seasons it has been in the PSAC.
Seton Hill (14-14, 10-12) came out inspired after the ceremonies to lead early, but was countered by the Crimson Hawks halfway through the first quarter. The Lady Griffins still trailed by four at halftime, keeping themselves within striking distance of IUP (19-7, 16-6).
Out of the half, the game changed for good in the third quarter. Seton Hill took the lead thanks to a red-hot three-point shooting, and cruised from there into the playoffs. The Lady Griffins shot 50 percent from three-point range for the game, and a scorching 65 percent from the field in the second half. IUP shot an awful 29 percent for the game from the field, but did receive a double-double from Zhane Brooks.
Jenna Kaufman carried the Lady Griffins like she has done all season with 21 points and 13 rebounds, to complete a double-double of her own. Seton Hill will travel back to Erie Saturday afternoon for the first round of the playoffs to face Gannon. With California eventually defeating Edinboro, IUP had no chance to get the one seed and will have the weekend off before playing at home Tuesday against the winner of that Seton Hill-Gannon game.
California 83 Edinboro 52: A second straight dominant fourth quarter helped lock up the Vulcans first PSAC West title since the 2008-09 season with a 83-52 win over Edinboro. California outscored the Fighting Scots 23-8 in the fourth quarter, and avenged their loss at Edinboro a month ago. Edinboro scored the first basket of the game, and that was the only lead they would have all night. Cal used a balanced scoring attack to hold a double-digit lead for most of the contest, led by reigning PSAC West player of the week Miki Glenn’s 19 points. The amazing aspect in the contest was the fact that Edinboro did not make a single three-pointer.
This was the first time all season the Fighting Scots did not make a single three-pointer, coming into the contest fourth in the PSAC in three-point percentage. Cal (21-5, 18-4) took advantage of a sloppy Fighting Scots play throughout, scoring 30 points off a brutal 25 turnovers. Edinboro (19-9, 14-8) was led by a game-high 25 points from Aignee Freeland, and now will host local rival Mercyhurst Saturday afternoon in the first round of the playoffs. Cal will enjoy the weekend off as division champs, and then will return to host a quarterfinal game Tuesday night. That matchup could very well be another round against the Fighting Scots if they can beat Mercyhurst for the third time this season.
Pitt-Johnstown 84 Slippery Rock 72: Pitt-Johnstown finally got something to celebrate on Wednesday night with an 84-72 win over Slippery Rock, snapping a 10-game losing streak. The Lady Cats were able to send their seniors out with a win most in part to a strong start from the field shooting, while maintaining a convincing lead throughout the contest. In her final game as a Lady Cat, Jasmine Harper came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points and finish her career in style.
The inspiring performance from the Lady Cats saw the team nearly shoot 50 percent from the field in the game, and having four players score in double digits. UPJ concludes its season at (8-20, 5-17), and will look to bounce back next season with a young talent. This game was a nightmare for The Rock in every way shape and form. They never got in the rhythm they had against Gannon, and wasted a 32-point performance from Lexi Carpenter. It got so bad at the end they saw their head coach, Bobby McGraw, get ejected. Despite missing the playoffs, Slippery Rock (13-15, 9-13) earned their most wins in a decade and will have Carpenter return next season.
Mercyhurst 63 Gannon 54: Backed by a stifling defense, the Mercyhurst Lakers pulled away from Gannon in the second half to win 63-54. Laker fans had waited over five years to knock off their cross-town rivals, and did they ever earn it Wednesday night. Tied at 22 at halftime, it was all Lakers in the second half, spearheaded by a season-high 30 points from Natalie Piaggesi. Piaggesi made her first 12 shots en route to going a dazzling 13-14 from the field. With the five seed locked up, the Lakers (14-14, 12-10) gained serious momentum heading into the playoffs with this victory. They will not have far to go Saturday for the first round, as they travel down a few miles down Interstate 79 to face the Edinboro Fighting Scots. As for Gannon (16-10, 14-8), it received a game-high 14 points from Morgan Neighbors on her Senior Night. They limp into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, but still locked up the three seed in the playoffs thanks to Cal’s win over Edinboro. Gannon will host Seton Hill Saturday afternoon in the first round.