Lady Cats confident to win in playoffs

Bobby Scott, Sports Editor

Pitt-Johnstown women’s basketball team clinched a spot in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship tournament despite being defeated by Gannon University last Saturday, 71-50.

The Lady Cats were the fifth ranked team in the conference’s western division after last Saturday’s game and would have had to play the fourth best team in the eastern division, East Stroudsburg University, if the regular season ended last Saturday.

East Stroudsburg defeated Pitt-Johnstown Jan. 8, 74-65 at the Sports Center.

Pitt-Johnstown may look like a long shot for even winning a game in the tournament with 9-16 overall record (6-9 conference) but that does not mean that the Lady Cats do not know what they have to do to make some noise in the playoffs.

“We just have to be consistent and play our game,” senior guard Grace Hyland said.

“We have had too many games this season where we, unfortunately, did not play to the level we can.”

The Lady Cats lost to four teams this season who currently have a worse record than they do.

Two of those losses are to the two teams ranked below Pitt-Johnstown in the western division standings, Clarion and Seton Hill University.

Both losses were at home and the Lady Cats gave up 85-plus points in each games.

The Lady Cats have given up 85-plus points in games this season and have  gone 1-12 in them.

There have been only four games this season in which the team has lost and not had 85 or more points scored on them.

“The great thing with basketball is, once the playoffs have started, none of that matters,” Hyland said.

“It is essentially the start of a new season and it is one that we are all ready for, and as long as we play as a team and play with the energy we know we can, we will be successful.”

The Lady Cats are 1-10 when playing a conference opponent that has a better record then them as of Feb. 23.

The one team the Lady Cats beat with a better conference record was California University of Pennsylvania.

Pitt-Johnstown defeated the Lady Vulcans 73-72, Jan. 11, but California won the most recent game between the two by a more convincing score 94-65, Feb. 19.

“We are really going to have to come together and hit our stride.

We have to play our game the way we know how,” sophomore forward Jasmine Harper said.

Harper said when it comes to winning it is all about believing.

“We can play with any team.

Our coaches believe it, our fans believe it and we just have to start believing in ourselves,” Harper said.