Poor shooting leads to Lady Cats’ loss

Sarah Francowic, Staff Writer

Lock Haven University turned an 11-point deficit, late in the third quarter, into a 59-49 victory over the Lady Cats on Saturday afternoon in the Sports Center.

Junior forward Olivia McCabe led Pitt-Johnstown with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Laurel O’Barto added nine points and three assists while freshman forward Gabrielle Smith had eight points off the bench.

The Lady Cats also got six points and nine rebounds from senior forward Jamie Tabon and five points apiece from sophomore guard/forward Victoria Moreland and freshman guard Madison Kollar.

Pitt-Johnstown was held to just 22.6 percent (14-62) shooting from the field, including 1-18 from 3-point range and 20-29 from the free-throw line.

Kollar’s basket with 1:02 left in the third quarter gave the Lady Cats a 45-34 lead, but Lock Haven was able to narrow the gap to eight entering the fourth quarter.

The Bald Eagles took their first lead of the game on a pair of free-throws from sophomore guard/forward Ayanda McGill-Jefferson at the 6:28 mark in the fourth quarter and never gave it up.

Lock Haven made  6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the 10-point victory over the Lady Cats.

Prior to the loss against Lock Haven University, the Lady Cats came off of a 60-77 non-conference loss Dec. 8 against Ohio Valley (W.Va.) University.

Tabon racked up 16 points and five rebounds, and McCabe added 12 points and seven rebounds to lead the Lady Cats against Ohio Valley.

Moreland had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds, while freshmen Kollar had nine points, and guard Maurina Nunn scored six points.

The Lady Cats also got five points and five assists from O’Barto, who currently is sixth in the nation in assists per game at 7.1.

Ohio Valley forward Shicole Watts scored a game high 23 points to lead the Fighting Scots.

The Fighting Scots started the second quarter with a six point lead before the Lady Cats used three straight 3-pointers from O’Barto, Kollar and Moreland in a 15-2 run to retake the lead, 37-30, at the 4:07 mark.

Ohio Valley took over with baskets to take a 56-47 advantage into the fourth quarter, then quickly pushed the lead out to 12 with a 3-pointer from freshman guard Haley Ackerman and went onto the 17-point victory.

Junior guard Nikki Corcoran said the team plans to come back strong and put the losses behind them.

“You can’t dwell on any loss, we’re all focused on the next opponent and are going to keep practicing hard to be the best we can be on the court,” Corcoran said.

With seven freshmen on the team this year, Corcoran said the energy from them is a big momentum changer.

“They all want to prove themselves since it’s their first year, so any time they come off of the bench, they play with so much intensity, it’s refreshing to the rest of us,” she said.

With two recent losses Pitt-Johnstown slipped to 6-4 overall and 2-3 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division.

The Lady Cats host  Wheeling (W.Va.) Jesuit  6 p.m. Wednesday.