Franciscan University women’s basketball grabbed its first conference win of the season, 75-65 over the University of Pitt.-Greensburg.
“It was a quality effort tonight from our entire team,” Head Coach Suzy Delaney said. “We have a long way to go becoming a complete team, but I’m seeing some good things coming together.”
The first five minutes of the game were uneventful as both teams traded baskets until senior guard Monica Dawyot made a layup to put the Lady Barons up 8-7. From that point on, Franciscan controlled the rest of the game, never relinquishing its lead.
With three minutes left in the first half, the Pitt.-Greensburg Bobcats tied the game at 26. Contributions from Franciscan sophomore guard Sarah Schriner, senior guard Iliana Gonzales and sophomore center Lucia Westrick gave the Lady Barons a six-point lead at halftime.
Franciscan gradually extended its lead in the third quarter to double digits as the Lady Barons dominated Pitt.-Greensburg on the offensive glass in that quarter and throughout the whole game.
Westrick grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, more than the entire Bobcat team, which had four. Overall, 22 of Franciscan’s 47 rebounds came on the offensive end of the floor.
“We’ve all seen Lucia perform in practices these past two years like she did tonight,” Delaney said. “I’m really proud of her, seeing her put it out on the court and exhaust herself for her teammates.”
The Lady Barons maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter as the trio of Gonzales, Schriner and Westrick took control of the game offensively.
Gonzales finished with a game-high 32 points, one point shy of tying the school’s record for most points in a single game, a record set by Gonzales earlier in the season. Schriner finished with 16 points while Westrick finished with 13 points and led the team with 14 rebounds, marking the first career double-double for the sophomore.
“Iliana Gonzales continues giving us a complete effort on both ends of the court,” Delaney said, “and Sarah Schriner is really coming around in her game after some early adversity.”
Senior guard/forward Chianti Sivek led the Bobcats with 19 points off the bench while junior Casey Hamilton led her team with nine rebounds.
With the first conference win in the books, the Lady Barons will hit the road for the next four Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference games as Franciscan continues to work toward a second-straight appearance in the postseason tournament.
The Lady Barons will travel to take on the Lady Lions of Penn State-Behrend on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 4 p.m.