INDIANA, Pa. — Seven players scored at least eight points, led by 16 from Sarah Pastorek as 24th-ranked Indiana (Pa.) used a balanced effort on both sides of the floor to defeat No. 18 Gannon 69-64 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action on Saturday evening at the KCAC.
The Crimson Hawks got off to a hot start with a 3-pointer by Marita Mathe to begin the game, followed by layups by Amy Fairman and Pastorek, to take a quick 7-0 lead. A three-pointer by Vianca Tejada a few minutes later increased IUP’s lead to eight at 10-2, as the Golden Knights were only able to keep it close by knocking down free throws as they didn’t make their first field goal until Nettie Blake’s layup at the 12:29 mark.
A free throw by Blake at the 9:40 mark right after a bucket and a foul cut IUP’s lead to 15-14, but the Crimson Hawks went on to score six consecutive points, including back-to-back layups by Mathe and Fairman, to get back on top by seven.
Another layup by Blake at the 5:00 mark made it a 26-21 IUP lead before both teams went cold as neither would score until Mathe knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:51 left in the half. She added another from the charity stripe while Tejada had a two-pointer in the paint to get the Crimson Hawks back to double-digits as they led 31-21 before a Gannon free throw made it a nine-point game heading into the break.
A lot of back-and-forth scoring highlighted the start of the second half, including a three by Gannon’s Caitlyn Lowe followed by another from Arika Ullman to put the Crimson Hawks back on top by nine at 36-27.
IUP later took a 12-point lead at 41-29 after a free throw by Fairman but Gannon responded with a 13-1 run over a 2:31 span to tie the game at 42-42 with 13:37 to play. There would be three more ties in the second half before Leslie Stapleton finally broke it open with the trey to put IUP in front 52-49 with 9:37 left to play.
A layup by Tejada with 4:34 left put IUP up by nine as the Crimson Hawks would keep Gannon at arm’s reach the rest of the game to finish off the Golden Knights with the five-point win.
The Golden Knights shot 40.8 percent from the floor but IUP forced them into 17 turnovers and outrebounded them 37-28. Gannon was led in scoring by Blake’s 13 points while Doriyon Glass added 11. Jen Papich, the team’s leading scorer on the season, was held to just nine points on 2-of-11 shooting, turning it over four times.
IUP shot 43.8 percent from the floor and had 15 offensive rebounds, hitting seven three-pointers and going 12-of-19 from the foul line.
Tejada finished with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds in her final regular season game while Ullman scored eight points and had two assists, going 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Pastorek’s 16 came on 7-of-10 shooting, adding two assists and two blocks, while Mathe had 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. Fairman scored nine points with five boards, three assists and two steals while Talen Watson added nine points and Stapleton had eight.