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Shippensburg University women fall in tourney

Women’s Basketball Ends Historic Season With Loss to Mercyhurst, 63-51
Tough third quarter dooms SU in Atlantic Regional defeat

CALIFORNIA, Pa. – The Shippensburg women’s basketball team was unable to hold a halftime lead Friday as it dropped a 63-51 decision to the Mercyhurst Lakers in the first round of the NCAA Atlantic Regional from Hamer Hall on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania.

SU (24-7) finishes an especially historic season that included a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division championship and a 19-game winning streak – the longest in 18 seasons with head coach Kristy Trn at the helm. It was Trn’s fifth 20-win season and first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2002.

The fourth-seeded Raiders used a strong second quarter in which they outscored the Lakers 16-8 to take a 30-26 lead at the half, despite playing a large portion of the frame without its two leading scorers – graduate Stephanie Knauer (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) and senior Colleen Young (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Archbishop Wood) – as both picked up two fouls.

However, SU went cold from the field to start the second half as the fifth-seeded Lakers heated up, allowing Mercyhurst to outscore the Raiders 22-6 in the third quarter and take a 48-36 lead. SU cut the Mercyhurst lead to seven points with two and a half minutes remaining, but were unable to come any closer.

Young led the Raider attack with 15 points in 32 minutes. The senior guard was the only SU player in double figures as the Raiders shot just 36.5 percent from the field. Senior Morgan Griffith (Hollidaysburg, Pa./Hollidaysburg Area) totaled eight points and a game-high 16 rebounds – also a season high for her – as she played the entire game. Friday marked the first time this season SU did not have senior guard Logan Snyder (Lewistown, Pa./Mifflin County), who was injured in the Raiders PSAC semifinal loss to IUP on March 4.

Seven Raider seniors finished their careers Friday, including five 1,000-point scorers: Young, Griffith, Snyder, Knauer and senior Lauren Gold (Elkins Park, Pa./Abington Friends). Senior Haley Scullion (Chalfont, Pa./Archbishop Wood) and senior Chanice Lee (Port Tobacco, Md./Bishop McNamara) also played their final game in a Raider uniform. The seven players combined for 7,108 career points.

Knauer finishes her career eighth all-time in scoring, while Griffith is 14th, Gold is 18th, Snyder is 19th and Young is 22nd. Griffith, who is third all-time in career rebounds with 1,157, is the third player in SU history to finish her career with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Knauer concludes her final season by shooting 63.8 percent from the field which is a new SU single-season record, and good for seventh all-time in PSAC history. Gold, who made 89.2 percent of her career free throws (496-of-556), is now the PSAC career record holder for free-throw percentage.

The Raiders finish their season as the current PSAC leader in field goal percentage, scoring defense and assist-to-turnover ratio. It is the 13th winning season in Trn’s 18 years as head coach.

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