Time Runs out for Crusaders in Season Opener

Time Runs out for Crusaders in Season Opener

Box Score

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – The 2012-13 women's basketball season got underway for Susquehanna on Thursday night with a road contest at Elizabethtown. While the Crusaders were able to chip away late in the game at a double-digit deficit, SU ran out of time to complete the comeback and fell 69-68.

For most of the game Susquehanna (0-1) trailed by double figures, including a deficit of 21 points, but managed to cut that lead to just one point in the closing seconds of the game. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays (1-0) were able prevent SU from completing the comeback win.

Three players reached double-figures for Susquehanna with 19 from Eleni Dimou (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh). Gina Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa./Wallenpaupack) chipped in 18 to go along with seven rebounds and Jonaida Williams (Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Twp.)  had 10 points and seven rebounds, as well.

As a team, the Crusaders shot just under 40 percent from the floor (23-of-58) and 72 percent from the free throw line (21-of-29) but sank only one of 10 three-point attempts. The team did out-score Elizabethtown 48-34 in the second half.

The Blue Jays were able to open the game with six unanswered points and a Taylor Santor three with 17:06 on the clock put her team ahead 9-2.

After a Mariah Monahan (Towanda, Pa./Towanda Area) jumper at 16:46 made it 9-4, SU went three minutes without another bucket while Elizabethtown upped its lead to 17-4 with over 14 minutes remaining in the half.

Four-straight points by Susquehanna closed the gap to seven points (17-10) and midway through the half, the Blue Jays led by eight (20-12). Unfortunately, a 9-1 Elizabethtown run made it 29-13 with just 4:30 left in the half and by the time the clock hit zero in the half, the Blue Jays went into the locker room leading 35-20.

At the 15:04 mark of the second half SU found itself in a 46-27 hole before going on an 8-0 run, including a Williams three, to pull within 11 points (46-35). Elizabethtown countered with stretch of seven-straight points and maintained a double-digit lead, including a 21-point advantage at one point.

The Crusaders kept attacking, though, and an impressive 15-1 run closed the gap to just three points (65-62) with 58 seconds remaining.

Down by three (67-64) with 15 seconds on the clock, Elizabethtown fouled Shannon Grunwald (Neshanic Station, N.J./Somerville) who hit both three shots to make it a one-point game, 67-66, with 13 ticks left on the clock. The Blue Jays hit two free throws of their own for a 69-67 score and leaving SU with eight seconds with which to work.

Monahan drove to the basket for the layup and while the shot went in, the two points made it only 69-68 as the clock hit zero.

The Crusaders open their home season on Saturday and Sunday at the 24th annual Pepsi Tip-Off Tournament. SU faces Penn State-Harrisburg on Saturday at 8 p.m.