Solid Defense Helps Falcons Beat Elizabethtown 66-49
Messiah's Kira Maier brought down four offensive and five defensive rebounds in the Falcons' conference win over Elizabethtown College Saturday afternoon.
By Bryn Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Elizabethtown, PA –The 23rd ranked Messiah Falcons collected their first Commonwealth Conference victory of the season, handily defeating archrival Elizabethtown 66-49 to improve to 4-2 on the season.
"We executed very well," said Messiah's head coach, Mike Miller. "It was a very good game for us. I thought all of our players played hard and executed the game plan. They had an understanding of what they were trying to do and implemented that."
From the start of the game, the Falcons dominated, particularly on defense. They took a 4-0 lead on a pair of layups from junior forward Kira Maier and held Elizabethtown without a basket until 7:24 into the game.
Elizabethtown closed the gap to 11-9 midway through the first half. But the Falcons went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by five points from junior Dori Gyori, and took a 21-9 lead. The Falcons continued their strong defense, and entered halftime with a commanding 32-20 lead. They held Elizabethtown to just 8-of-24 shooting on field goals, including 1-of-9 on three point shots.
In the second half, the Falcons scored the first eight points to take a 40-20 lead, and held on for an easy 66-49 victory.
"They played well defensively," Miller said. "We're going to win games with defense and we did that tonight. I thought the leadership was spectacular. I'm glad we won and we played well, but we had a chance to achieve our goal defensively, and we did."
Juniors Dori Gyori and Becca Albus were both praised by Miller after the game. Gyori led the team with 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Albus came off the bench to collect seven points and two steals in 25 minutes.
More importantly, the Falcons rebounded from a tough loss against Lebanon Valley College on Wednesday to collect their first Commonwealth Conference victory of the season.
"After the loss to LVC, we came back with a vengeance to beat E-town," said Maier, who scored nine points and topped the team with nine boards. "They came into this game 4-1 and playing really well. We still need to capitalize on some of the small things, but I am really excited with the win and how we played today."
The Falcons' next game is at the University of Scranton on Wednesday, December 7th at 6:00 p.m.