BY ERIN MADDEN
Franciscan University women’s basketball team could not overcome a fast start by Medaille College on Senior Day, Feb. 14, losing 76-62.
“We had a really tough loss today,” said Suzy Delaney, head women’s basketball coach. “Medaille dictated the tempo. Because we struggled completing looks, we kept digging ourselves into a deeper hole as the game unfolded.”
Medaille’s Lady Mavericks were able to rattle off the first six points of the game while the Lady Barons struggled to find the bottom of the basket from the floor. However, with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Iliana Gonzales, the Lady Barons went up by one point with 4:17 remaining in the first half.
“Iliana had a really solid day today, especially on offense,” Delaney said. “Her persistence kept us in the game.”
Gonzales finished as the team’s top scorer with 25 points, shooting just under 50 percent on the night.
However, the Lady Mavericks were able to take a 34-29 lead into the locker room at halftime. That five-point lead quickly increased to 12 points in less than two minutes.
Leading the Lady Barons’ offense in the second half was freshman guard Sarah Schriner, hitting a three-point shot and sinking three free throws in less than two minutes to cut into Medaille’s lead. The freshman’s extra effort was not enough as Franciscan only shot 27.8 percent in the half as a team.
“Sarah bounced back from injury today and delivered a solid performance that was key for our continued play,” Delaney said. “Her contribution to the team’s scoring was significant.”
Schriner was the second leading scorer with 20 points.
Defensively, senior forward Lacey Huck was able to shine, grabbing 15 of her 21 rebounds on the defensive glass in one of the best rebounding performances of her entire career.
As the team’s only senior, Huck was honored after the game for her leadership throughout her four years in the program. Huck holds most of the career records in the women’s basketball program, most notably that of leading scorer with 1,301 points and leading rebounder with 829.
Both numbers are still counting as the Lady Barons have at least two games left on the schedule.
“Lacey is a consummate team player, very committed to the basketball program and a woman of character,” Delaney said. “She’s an incredibly hard worker. It is an honor, a blessing and a privilege to coach a player like Lacey.”
Taking a look at the conference standings, coming into the game, the Lady Barons were tied with Medaille for fifth place with a conference record of 7-8. With a loss by University of Penn St.-Altoona, Medaille jumps to fourth in the conference while the Lady Barons drop into a tie for sixth with Mt. Aloysius College.
The Lady Barons still control their playoff future as the remainder of Mount Aloysius’ schedule consists of matchups with the number two and three teams in the conference on the road. However, Franciscan will need to take care of business on their court in order to secure their first-ever playoff appearance.
The Lady Barons will battle no. 1 La Roche on February 18 at 6 pm in the final home game of the season.