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Falcons Toast Red Devils In Season Opener
Messiah's Dori Gyori collected 11 points and 6 rebounds in Messiah's season-opening win over Dickinson on Tuesday.

By Bryn Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Grantham, PA – Messiah started off the 2011-12 season in the right direction, earning a 58-47 victory over Dickinson College in Brubaker Auditorium on Tuesday night. The Falcons, looking to build on last season's 19-8 record and trip to the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, held the Red Devils to 40% shooting on the evening.

"It's always good to get a win," said Messiah head coach Mike Miller. "We were happy with the effort and, for the most part, the defense."

The Falcons caused 31 turnovers by the Red Devils, racing out to an early double-digit lead thanks in large part to their defensive pressure.

Junior forward Dori Gyori was a force inside for Messiah, scoring 11 points and grabbing six rebounds while battling early foul trouble.

"Dori was strong for us tonight, even though she was playing through early fouls," said Miller. "Her and (junior forward) Kira Maier battled hard all night."

The Falcons were led in scoring by sophomore guard Chelsea Danel, who scored 14 points on 6-9 shooting from the field. Though two other players shot better than 50% from the field, including Gyori and junior guard Jordan Seiz, the Falcons managed to shoot only 39% from the field- including 2-13 from three-point range.

"We weren't able to knock down shots tonight," reflected Miller, whose team outrebounded the Red Devils 34-31, including a 12-7 advantage on the offensive end. "We believe that is going to come, we just weren't able to get them to fall tonight."

After holding a 31-14 lead at the half, Messiah was forced to handle an attempted comeback by Dickinson. The Red Devils outscored the Falcons 33-27 in the second half.

"Defensively, we were very good early on, and then we started breaking down," said Miller. "We also didn't take of the ball enough. We need to cut down on our turnovers."

The Falcons were forced into 26 turnovers on the night, the majority of which came in the second half against Dickinson's increasing pressure.

Still, the Falcons found enough holes in the Dickinson defense to maintain their lead and hold on for the victory- thanks largely to junior guard Nicky Hess and Seiz who combined for 17 points on the night, 11 in the second half.

The Red Devils were led in scoring by guard Belma Mekic, who scored 12. Forward Lindsay Finnerty added nine points, with forward Gillian Ferko collecting 11 rebounds.

Messiah moves to 1-0 with the win, with Dickinson falling to 0-1.

The Falcons next play on Friday, November 18, when they host John Jay College in the first round of their Tip-Off Tournament. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m.