The fifth-ranked Gannon University women’s basketball team bounced back with a win against Indiana University of Pennsylvania Saturday after a loss to Edinboro University earlier this week.
The Knights dropped their contest to the Edinboro Fighting Scots in the Hammermill Center 69-57 Wednesday. Gannon shot poorly from behind the arc, collectively scoring 2-of-20 from 3 point range.
Coach Jim Brunelli said the loss to the Fighting Scots was due to struggles on the offensive side of the ball.
“We couldn’t put the ball in Lake Erie if we tried, especially from the outside,” Brunelli said.
Senior forward Jen Papich said she wasn’t pleased with the way her team played Wednesday night.
“We came out flat and as a captain, I take a lot of the blame for that,” Papich said. “We did things that were uncharacteristic of us as a team and as individuals.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to adjust until the second half, and, at that point, it was too little too late.”
The Knights rallied after their loss to defeat IUP on the road 73-64 Saturday. Gannon relied on a more balanced scoring approach to lead the team to victory.
Four Knights were in double figures, led by Papich with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Kelley Sundberg also netted 13 points, gathered seven rebounds and tallied five assists.
Gannon increased its 3-point shooting to almost 40 percent against the Crimson Hawks. The Knights improved their record to 23-2 on the season with only two games remaining.
Gannon returns home to take on Clarion University at the Hammermill Center at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Clarion game marks a special night for fourth-year players – Senior Night.
Sundberg said it is going to be a very special night for her.
“Well it’s going to be very emotional because Doriyon (Glass), Papich and I have been through a lot together,” Sundberg said. “It is also something to celebrate with how much we have grown and how much we have been through as a team and individuals.”
Papich said it was going to be a bittersweet game for her because of the history she has made at Gannon.
“I’ve had one heck of a ride here at Gannon and I would not trade a second of it for anything,” Papich said. “When it’s all over, I know I will miss everything this program has given me, from the teammates who became family to the fans who made Erie my home away from home.”
Brunelli said due to his team’s motto, he likes his chances Wednesday.
“At the start of the season we made our motto ‘Protect our house,’ and we have only had one loss at home,” he said.
Brunelli added Senior Night is going to be a celebration of everything that the seniors have given to the team and the Gannon basketball community.
“My job as a coach is to extend their season as long as I can and we want to keep playing for them because they have meant so much to this team.”