Women's hoops to continue play post-season

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 6:12 PM
Women's hoops to continue play post-season by Madi Gross
Photo: Madi Gross

Edinboro could not defend home court in the first round of the PSAC playoffs on March 4, falling to Gannon, 71-67. 

During the regular season, Gannon and Edinboro each took a win at the other’s gym. The Golden Knights earned their victory on Jan. 16, while Edinboro responded a month later on Feb. 16. Gannon scored the same 71 points in each of their victories at the ‘Boro.

To no surprise, the game was a fast-paced battle from the tip. Gannon led by as many as five in the first quarter, but Edinboro was able to close the gap quickly and actually took the lead at the end of the first after a Michaela Barnes jumper.

Gannon pushed their lead to seven in the second, but the Fighting Scots were able to rally back again, this time to a 35-31 deficit, following a layup from Barnes with three seconds left in the half.

The third quarter only proved to be more intense, as points were few and far between in the first five minutes. By the 4:06 mark, both squads found themselves in foul trouble. In these last few minutes, Walton stood at the line three different times, as did Barnes. 

The Golden Knights would lead by 10 late in the third. When a foul was called on Rosten, the Fighting Scot exchanged words with the referee, leading to her receiving a technical foul (her fifth foul of the game). Rosten was forced to the bench, and the Golden Knights boosted their lead up to 14 with the ensuing free throws. Gannon led at the end of the quarter, 59-43.

Edinboro’s love for the game showed throughout the fourth. Points from Jahn, Thompson and Barnes closed Gannon’s lead from 16 to five with 5:38 left in the game. Walton would step to the free-throw line late, sinking two shots and keeping it at that five-point deficit. 

Playing against the clock, Edinboro turned to purposely fouling Gannon, but Golden Knight Nicole LaCava hit two with 11 seconds left to make it a three-possession game. Barnes hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left, but it wouldn’t be enough.

“We had to fight and keep focused,” stated Barnes. She further explained that in this game they fought for each other and for the team as a whole – not just for themselves as individuals. “I remember thinking that I was going to fight my hardest for these seniors who won’t get another opportunity like this,” Barnes said.

Barnes had a total of 29 points in the playoff game, which made this the eighth in a row that she has scored 20 or more points. The standout Scot had a big season, recording personal achievements such as her 1,000th point of her career. She also set school, single-game records in points scored (42), free throws made (19) and free throws attempted (24) in the team’s matchup against East Stroudsburg on Dec. 8. The junior was named the PSAC Athlete of the Week several times this season, is ranked in several statistical categories in Division II, and also received postseason accolades, such as being named to the All-PSAC West First Team.

Barnes was not alone in the postseason accolades, as teammates Walton (first team) and Rosten (second team) were also named to All-PSAC West. Both players also reached their 1,000th career point mark.

Despite this loss, the Fighting Scots’ season is not over. On Sunday night, it was announced that Edinboro earned a bid into the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament. 

“I was amazed and extremely excited,” Barnes stated about the moment she found out that the team received the bid. She continued: “This isn’t something that is just handed to teams, it is earned, and to know that we are looked at as a top-64 team in the country was incredible.”

They are set to face off against Virginia Union University in Glenville, West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Madi Gross | sports.spectator@gmail.com

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