BY ERIN MADDEN
Franciscan University’s Lady Barons basketball played a game of small victories Tuesday against a tough Carnegie Mellon team even though the overall victory eluded them, losing 63-37 at home.
As Carnegie Mellon is not a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, this loss does not have any effect on the conference standings, where the Lady Barons remain in a three-way tie for seventh place along with D’Youville College and Penn State-Behrend.
“Tonight, we ran into a long, athletic team in Carnegie Mellon,” said Suzy Delaney, head women’s basketball coach. “I was proud of how our team came out and really played a tough game defensively.”
The Lady Barons won a few defensive battles on the night, holding the Carnegie Mellon’s Tartans to 63 points and a 36.5 shooting percentage, both numbers below their season averages. The team was also able to keep Carnegie Mellon’s second and third leading scorers below their season averages, scoring 10 and seven points on the night, respectively.
“We really challenged the girls this week to improve on the defensive end, and we saw some good things there tonight,” Delaney said.
Franciscan’s defense was particularly good in the first 10 minutes of the game, but after that, they could not stop the Tartans’ star forward sophomore Lisa Murphy, who almost scored as many points as Franciscan, finishing with 34 on the night.
On the other side of the floor, Carnegie Mellon’s team defense was also as effective, holding the Lady Barons’ three top scorers to point totals underneath their season averages.
Franciscan senior forward Lacey Huck was the team’s top scorer with 12 points, also adding six rebounds.
Along with Huck’s contribution, junior guard Stephanie Pahren gave Franciscan a boost on both ends of the floor. She had the best individual shooting percentage on the night, making four of her eight shots. Pahren finished with eight points and was also the team’s top rebounder with nine boards.
“I was proud of several things I saw from our girls,” Delaney said. “Lacey battled. Steph Pahren really came out and had a complete game for us, rebounding, defending, scoring and distributing the ball.”
The Lady Barons will continue to make improvements at home Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. against the Bobcats of the University of Pitt-Greensburg.