Grove City gets past Thiel, 67-49
The Wolverines peeled away from a narrow 36-35 lead with 12 minutes left.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
GROVE CITY -- When two teams start a basketball game both winless, one thing is certain: One team is going to take one step forward.
Saturday at the WolvArena, Grove City College women took that one big step forward, as the Wolverines surged down the stretch to defeat Thiel, 67-49, in a President's Athletic Conference game.
Grove City (8-7, 1-2 PAC) coach Melissa Lamie was quick to admit that it probably will be easier to go to practice Monday.
"We really needed this one to get us going," said Lamie. "Bethany is a real good team and we played them, and Westminster is going to beat some people also, especially on their floor. Those weren't terrible losses, but they wear on you and when they [Thiel] started coming back on us, that thought went through my mind again.
"The last two days, you could feel that it [losing] was really starting to bother them. Although this is just one win, it will definitely change the mood of everyone when Monday rolls around."
After ties at 2 and 4, the Wolverines put together a 15-2 run that propelled them to a 19-6 lead. Two players really stepped up in that stretch -- Sandy O'Keefe scored eight of her 10 points and Leigh LeGare added four of her 11.
Following the Wolverines' rally, Thiel coach Gloria Pacsi inserted a completely new lineup of players.
"We don't have that [team chemistry] yet and that is what I am looking for," said Pacsi. "Right now, we are just trying to put people into positions they are capable of handling. They are trying hard and working hard, and maybe it is a matter of them not getting enough minutes out there to work things out."
Although the Tomcats (5-12, 0-3) never led in the game, they did cut the deficit to just a single point (36-35) with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
"We told them [at halftime] they had to apply more pressure, and we made some adjustments that got us back into the game," Pacsi said.
With the Thiel guards helping slow down the post play of the Wolverines by sagging inside, the outside opened up. That is when Abby Moose, a Mercer High graduate, got hot. Moose, who came into the game averaging 11 points, was held scoreless in the first half, but scored 13 of her 15 points down the stretch as the Wolverines pulled away.
"They [Thiel] were playing really good defense on the ball and I was definitely frustrated," said Moose. "They were trying to take away the outside, but once I was able to relax a little bit and see the open lanes, things opened up for me and I felt a little bit better."
Former Sharon High standout Nicole Valentino had 15 points and nine rebounds for Thiel.