Lakeland tops Mercyhurst North East in overtime to open season, 72-69

Lakeland tops Mercyhurst North East in overtime to open season, 72-69

KIRTLAND, Ohio – Lakeland women's basketball trailed 69-68 in the final minutes of overtime but Calasia Cunningham drilled a jump shot for the lead and the Lakers held on for a 72-69 victory in overtime Tuesday night.

Cunningham was second on the team in points with 13 as Lakeland opened the season 1-0 while Ziona Williams led the way with 15 points. Selah Richardson came off the bench to score 12 points in the win.

Lakeland was able to grab a small amount of momentum as Julie Hajdu scored four points and the Lakers took an 18-15 lead after the first half. Mercyhurst North East played better in the second quarter but Lakeland took a 27-19 lead after a layup by Alicia Sephus with 5:01 left but Mercyhurst charged back to get within 30-27 at halftime.

Cunningham came out strong in the third quarter with five points but the Lakers made just 4-of-15 shots in the quarter as Mercyhurst crept back into the ball game. Lakeland and Mercyhurst entered the fourth tied at 41-41.

Mercyhurst looked to grab momentum with a 56-48 lead with 2:33 left but Lakeland fought back with a 3 from Richardson and a jump shot from Cunningham tied the game up at 56-56 with 35 seconds left. Lakeland had its chance at the win late in the fourth but both teams ended regulation tied at 59-59.

Scoring went back and forth in the overtime period but the big shot from Cunningham gave Lakeland a 70-69 lead and the Lakers held on for a 72-69 overtime victory.

Lakeland will next play on Friday, Nov. 9 in the TJ Memorial Tournament and will face Kent State University – Club Team at 5 p.m.

For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit

About Lakeland Community College

Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.

Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit