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Messiah Scores Early, Often Against John Jay
Messiah's Dori Gyori collected a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in the Falcons' win Friday night.

By Bryn Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Williamsport, PA – Messiah improved to 2-0 in the 2011-2012 season with a 77-38 thrashing of visiting John Jay College. Not since January 7, 2010-- a full 46 games ago--has the Messiah women's basketball team won by more than 39 points.

The victory sent the Falcons into the championship game of the Hampton Inn Tip-Off Classic, where they will face St. Vincent College. The Falcons completely dominated from the start of the game, as junior forward Kira Maier scored on a layup just six seconds into the game.

The Falcons took a 14-0 lead, highlighted by a three-pointer from sophomore Chelsea Danel and a pair of layups from junior Nicky Hess. After missing their first six shots of the game, John Jay College finally scored their first points on a layup from Jamecia Forsythe with 13:40 remaining in the first half.

The Falcons continued to dominate, increasing their lead to 30-10 with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Despite the 20-point lead for the Falcons at halftime, head coach Mike Miller wasn't entirely pleased with his team's performance, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

"We talked at halftime about how we weren't happy with our defensive effort and we hadn't achieved our goal (holding them to 19 points in the first half). In the second half, we stayed a lot more focused and worked on doing the right things."

The Falcons achieved their goal in the second half, limiting John Jay to just 18 points. On offense, they scored 37, and finished the game scoring more than twice as many points as they allowed.

The 77-38 victory for the Falcons came despite the Falcons playing without sophomore guard Taylor Miller, who left the game early after a hard fall in the first half. Messiah is also still without junior Katlyn Vanderhoff, who has missed the first two games of the season with injuries. Miller says there is no timetable for Vanderhoff's return, and the extent of Miller's injury is not yet known.

For the Falcons, Hess led the team with 19 points, including 15 in the first half, on 9-of-14 shooting. Junior Dori Gyori tallied a double-double, collecting 11 points and 10 rebounds. Maier added 10 points, and classmate Becca Albus added eight points and seven rebounds.

Miller's team committed just 12 turnovers, forcing 26 from John Jay College. The Falcons also won the rebounding battle by a 40 to 28 margin.

"I thought we executed much better than on Tuesday night (against Dickinson)," Miller said. "I thought we handled the ball much better. That was the key. They still played hard and they still passed the ball around."

The Falcons will play the championship game of the Hampton Inn Tip-Off Classic on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. against St. Vincent College.