STEUBENVILLE - Despite a strong offensive first half, the Franciscan women's basketball team fell to the Pitt.-Greensburg Bobcats on Wednesday, 52-37.
Just 2:38 into the first quarter, the Lady Barons found themselves in a 6-0 hole; with the Bobcats successfully penetrating Franciscan's 2-3 zone defensive scheme early, drawing fouls which would compromise the home team's defensive efforts down the stretch.
Not to be outdone, junior guard Sarah Schriner proceeded to score ten of Franciscan's 12 first quarter points, blowing past defenders and sinking a series of three-point attempts. "Sarah played hard and did her best to keep us in it" said head coach Suzy Delaney. "We needed more of an overall team effort on the offensive end tonight" she added. The Lady Barons scored the final five points of the quarter, leaving them down a single point after the conclusion of the first.
Sophomore forward Anna Ames opened the scoring for the Lady Barons in the second quarter, holding the deficit to two after the team surrendered a Bobcat shot from beyond the arc. Effective interior passing from Pitt.-Greensburg allowed the team to open up an eight-point lead.
Franciscan shot only 21% from the field and was outscored 17-8 in second quarter; despite the quality defensive endeavors of freshman forward Cianna Vaughan, who recorded four rebounds on the night, Pitt.-Greensburg would take a ten-point lead into halftime, 30-20.
After a performance by the Baronettes, the Lady Barons began the third quarter hot. Midrange jump shots by senior forward Bernadette Roach and freshman guard Kaitlyn Sonneberger cut the Bobcat lead to six. A subsequent three-point dagger from freshman phenom Abby Baierl, her first points of the game, cut the lead to five after a Pitt.-Greensburg shot off the right glass.
The next seven points, however, would go the Bobcats' way, in a statement run which would establish a lead the visiting team would never relinquish. The Lady Barons went scoreless for the final four minutes of the quarter after another jump shot from Sonneberger, and would find themselves down 17 after the conclusion of the third.
In the final quarter, Franciscan outscored its conference opponent 8-6, as the game would turn defensive and leave both teams breathless. Said Delaney, "Give Greensburg credit: they always play tough on the defensive end." Schriner added four more points to her 14 after not registering a point in the third quarter to finish the night with 18.
A pair of steals from Sonneberger and another from sophomore guard Reagan Stead would eliminate any change of a further deficit, as the Lady Barons were the last to score, courtesy of two Schriner free throws.
Three games into a six-game run of conference opponents to close out the season, Delaney said the team continues to work hard to prepare for their final three matchups. "We're looking forward to the challenge that each of our remaining three games represent" said Delaney. The Lady Barons next take Henry J. Kuzma Court on February 11, in a 1:00 p.m. matchup against conference opponent D'Youville.