It was Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at Pucillo Gymnasium, where the Marauders aimed their sights on a win that would put them ahead of their opponents, the Lock Haven Bald Eagles, in the PSAC East.
However, Lock Haven’s 56 percent shooting average was far too high for Millersville to overcome, as they shot a mere 15.4 percent from the 3-point line.
Senior Brandon Brown carried the team with his season-best 18-point game. The only other player to reach double digits in scoring was junior Kelvin Parker, who had a total of ten points.
It was the Bald Eagle’s defense that stood sternly in the way of the Marauders, which in turn, fueled their offense. They held Millersville to a 37.3 shooting percentage, while having three players score double digit totals.
In the first half alone, the Marauders were only able to shoot a 28.6 percent average. Right out of the gate, Lock Haven took a 20-11 lead after an 18-2 run. Eager to close the gap, Millersville went on a 9-2 run of their own, bringing within just two points and nine minutes remaining in the half.
Unfortunately, the Bald Eagles responded before the teams headed to the locker rooms, bringing their lead back to nine. Over the next eight minutes, the Marauders scored just five points, which included two free throws from junior Jalen Lester, and a layup from redshirt freshman Ryan Aker.
Heading back onto the court with optimism, Millersville looked to reclaim their authority in Pucillo. Lock Haven, however, held their ground, forcing the Marauders to a lowly 1-for-10 shooting from the 3-point line over the final 20 minutes of play. Millersville was teased several times though, including their 14-5 run, reducing the Bald Eagles’ lead to four. That was as close as they would get. Lock Haven’s Elijah Cooper sunk a 3-pointer that ended the Marauders’ chances of coming back, ending the game with a score of 85-72.
Millersville’s record now sits at 12-12, one game behind the Bald Eagles. Despite the loss, the Marauders are still guaranteed the No. 5 seed in the upcoming PSAC Tournament, which schedules a rematch against Lock Haven in the first round, where they hope to assure the Bald Eagles that they are not a team to back down.
It was a different story for the women’s basketball team against their conference rivals, as the Marauders took down Lock Haven by a score of 75-62, eliminating them from the PSAC Tournament.
Millersville was able to tally a remarkable 51 percent shooting average from the field, with the team going 6-for-11 from the 3-point line. The Bald Eagles, on the other hand, were not so lucky, as they became the first opponent of Millersville’s 2013-14 season to go an entire game without making a 3-pointer.
Senior Senada Mehmedovic was one of four Marauders to reach double digits. She tallied 17 points, 13 of which were scored in the second half, and made all six of her free-throw attempts. Senada also tied season-high eight rebounds, and grabbed two steals. Impressively, Millersville is now 17-3 when she scores ten points or more.
Sophomore guard Celeste Robinson led the team with 21 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the field. Obtaining four assists, two rebounds, and a block, Robinson is improving her regular season play, which hopefully transitions well into the postseason.
The first half came to a close with the Marauders leading 36-32. They then slammed their foot on the pedal, opening the second half with a 20-8 run, giving them a 16-point lead. With just over seven minutes left to play, Millersville increased their lead to 18, and solidified their double-digit victory.
The Marauders stole the ball off the glass much more than Lock Haven, as they led in rebounds 42-31. Now sitting at a confident 14-11, Millersville looks ahead to their game against Shippensburg for their final regular season matchup, and a higher seed in the PSAC Tournament.