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Falcons Battle In C'Wealth Opener, Fall To Dutchmen
Junior Dori Gyori scored her second double-double of the season against Lebanon Valley College.

By Bryn Swartz, GoMessiah.com reporter
Annville, PA - The Messiah Falcons dropped their first conference battle of the season, losing 54-47 to Lebanon Valley College, the same squad that defeated the Falcons in the Commonwealth Conference championship last season.
           
"It was a great game," said Mike Miller, Messiah's head basketball coach.
"Two really good teams. I think we're close to being really good. Our transition defense was really bad, though. Other than that, I loved our fight, our heart, how we ran things. They (Lebanon Valley) had a hard time scoring on us in the half court for sure, but also we had a hard time scoring on them. We didn't get anything easy."

The Falcons collected eight more steals and committed seven fewer turnovers than LVC. But the key number in the game was 20. That's how many shots both teams made throughout the game, and it's also how many more shots Messiah (20 for 64) took than LVC (20 for 44). The Falcons' 31.3 shooting percentage was consistent in both halves (30.3% and 32.3%), leading to the team's seven point loss.
           
An injury-depleted Falcons squad, playing without a pair of key players - junior guard/forward Kate Vanderhoff and junior guard Jordan Seiz - trailed by just a single point at halftime but the Dutchmen slowly pulled away in the second half. For the game, LVC shot 17 foul shots, and Messiah shot just four.
           
"We've got to get to the foul line better," Miller said. "They were attacking the rim. They earned the right to have more foul shots."

It didn't help for Messiah that they were also in foul trouble, as juniors Dori Gyori and Nicky Hess both finished the game with four fouls.
           
Classmates Gyori and Kira Maier topped the Falcons with 10 points each. Gyori also gathered 10 boards, five on both offense and defense, giving her a double-double for the game. Maier grabbed six rebounds and tallied four steals. Sophomore Chelsea Danel scored nine and registered three assists, and Hess scored seven with three assists and three steals.
           
For Lebanon Valley College (5-0, 1-0), Tierney Hiltz scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Kiely Chaklos scored 13 and added eight rebounds and six assists.
           
The loss for the Falcons began a brutal stretch of eight consecutive road games for the Falcons, who will play in three different states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida.

Their next game is against Elizabethtown on Saturday, December 3rd at 2:00 p.m. They don't play at home until January 7, 2012, when they host DeSales University at 3:00 p.m. They have a rematch with Lebanon Valley College on February 1st at Messiah.