PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (November 9, 2018) – The Franklin Pierce University women's basketball team outscored Goldey-Beacom College 41-29 in the second half, but the Ravens could not erase a 17 point third quarter deficit as they fell 69-67 to the Lightning in the season opener for both teams at the Conference Challenge hosted by the University of the Sciences at the Bobby Morgan Arena.
The Ravens struggled to find their shooting in the first half turning in a 34.6% performance from the floor. They responded by converting 45.7% of their attempts in the second half including a 53.5% clip in the fourth quarter where they nearly staged a comeback.
FPU capitalized on the GB miscues as they turned 19 turnovers into 24 points. The Ravens also dominated post scoring (34-to-14) and second-chance points (17-to-4) tallying 15 offensive boards compared to their counterparts eight. Head Coach Jeanette McKillop dug into her bench and was rewarded with 37 bench points (GB only scored five). The Ravens three-point shooting was poor as they knocked down only two of their 21 (9.5%) of their long ball attempts.
The freshmen duo of forwards Izzy Lipinski (Farmington, Conn.) and Emma Carter (Bristol, Vt.) each totaled a team-high 14 points. Lipinski snagged a game-best seven rebounds with four coming on the offensive end. Carter grabbed six boards of her own and came up with two steals.
Sophomore guard Hannah Everidge (Baldwinville, Mass.) had an all-around game with eight points, a team-best six dimes and four thefts. Classmate Hannah Martin (Woodland Hills, Calif.) grabbed eight caroms and matched Lipinski with four on offense.
Lightning guard Sarah Round led all players with 20 points on a 5-of-11 (45.5%) downtown performance.
A Tanner Turner-Rush three-ball put the Ravens down 49-32 with 6:37 to go in the third quarter. They charged ahead to come within eight, 51-43 on the strength of an 11-2 scoring run and a Demi Akins (Cambridge, Mass.) steal and score. Two Lipinski free throws brought the battle to a 54-47 advantage in favor of GB.
In the fourth, a Round deadeye connected pushed the Lightning back ahead by double-figures. The Ravens crawled within six points via a Carter jumper with 7:18 to go. Trailing by seven, a Lipinski steal off the Raven press, lead to a Mya Mosley (Worcester, Mass.) baseline drive to cut their deficit to five, 62-57 at the 5:38 mark. Mosley brought it back to a two-possession game off an inbounds play, which gave Mosley an easy bank layup from the left block. Trailing by seven with the shot clock dwindling down, Everidge had an open look for a three-ball, her attempt went off the back of the rim leading to the Lightning gaining possession. Everidge came up big on the next trip down the court forcing a steal and making a three from the left corner to make the score 66-62 with 2:35 left.
Everidge's clutch play down the stretch continued as she came up with another theft on two consecutive defensive possessions, which led to Carter drawing a foul and going to the line for two freebies. The freshman split the charity strip attempts to bring it to a one-score game at 66-63 and more importantly, freshman guard Rylee Skinner (Leominster, Mass.) corralled the miss attempt to keep possession down on the Raven end.
The Ravens took their final timeout of the game and on their turn with the rock Carter missed a three-pointer, Skinner then cleaned up the miss and put it back in for the old-fashioned three-point play. Skinner missed the free throw to tie, but the Ravens were only down by one 66-65. Lipinski was called for a foul on the other end and GB knocked down both free throws.
After a Raven miss, Reetta Saaski threw the ball to the wrong team and Everidge picked it off, Carter threw the ball into the paint to Lipinski and she scooped the ball off the window and in to bring the score to 69-67. Alexis Stubblefield missed a layup on the next possession, which led to a final shot attempt for FPU. Everidge's trey was blocked at the buzzer as the Lightning held on for the two-point victory.
The Ravens are back in action tomorrow when they take on host and no. 15 nationally-ranked USciences at 2:00 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens ), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce women's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store). You can also follow the women's basketball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensWBB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/franklin_pierce_wbb/).