Eighth-ranked Messiah rallies to defeat upset-minded Lycoming 58-45
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- No. 8 Messiah spoiled Lycoming's attempt at an upset with a 58-45 win on Friday. The Falcons overcame a 32-30 deficit with under 15 minutes to play, as senior Dori Gyori's 24 points and 18 rebounds led Messiah to victory.
The Falcons came out slow against the Warriors, shooting just 32 percent through the first 20 minutes. The first half included a 1 for 12 performance from 3-point range, as Messiah and Lycoming traded the lead four times before halftime.
"Lycoming did a really good job [Friday]," head coach Mike Miller said. "They forced us to make jump shots, and we didn't make many of them in the first half."
Just before halftime, a jumper by senior Kira Maier gave the Falcons a 24-22 advantage.
Messiah built a small lead at the start of the second half, as another jumper by Maier put the Falcons up 30-25. Lycoming fought back with a 3-pointer from Rachel Scheller finishing off a 7-0 streak that put the hosts in front 32-30.
Over the next nine minutes, the visitors outscored Lycoming 22-4, with Gyori collecting 10 points in the stretch. Taylor Miller scored two baskets and made two free-throws in the game-changing run, accounting for all of her eight points.
With Messiah leading 52-36 with 5:16 left, Lycoming was unable to draw closer than a 12-point deficit as the Falcons won on the road for the fifth time this season.
Gyori's 24 points is a season-high and just two points off her career-best 26 points earned last year against Alvernia. Her 18 rebounds are the most by a Falcons' player since Gyori grabbed a career-high 19 boards in a 60-52 win against DeSales on Dec. 12, 2009.
"Dori was wonderful the whole game," Miller said. "She really anchored us, and it was big for us to start making some perimeter shots in that second-half stretch."
Messiah's defense forced 19 turnovers, as they scored 24 total points off the Warriors' giveaways. Lycoming managed just 11 points off the Falcons' 15 turnovers.
Maier finished with five points and eight rebounds, with Chelsea Danel collecting five points and five assists.
Scheller's 12 points led the Warriors as no other player in the game broke double-digit scoring.
The Warriors fell to 2-6 this season and 2-3 in the Commonwealth Conference.
The win moved Messiah to 8-0 on the season, as they also improved to a perfect 5-0 in the Commonwealth.
"Any road win in this league is a good one," Miller said. "We're excited to get this win, and we're excited to now have the chance to head off to Puerto Rico."