The Lakeland women's basketball team dropped the opening game of the TJ Memorial tournament 78-76 to the Pioneers from Delta College. With the loss, Lakeland's record falls to 1-1. In the opening two quarters of the game, Lakeland struggled to find their consistency. They appeared to come out flat to start the game, but then would mix in short spurts of high energy basketball which kept them in the game. They went into the half trailing by 5 points. Throughout most of the 3rd and 4th quarters, Lakeland and Delta would continue to trade baskets with the lead sometimes expanding to 7 and then get trimmed right back to 3 points.
The game became very interesting in the last minute. With Lakeland trailing by 7, Gianna Pegoraro drove the length of the court to hit a lay-up to cut the lead to 5 points with 35.1 seconds to play. Lakeland then put on a press after a time out and forced an errant pass by the Pioneers. In a scrum for the ball, the officials ruled Delta had control and awarded them a called time out with now 27.3 seconds left. Lakeland again put a lot of defensive pressure on Delta forcing a turnover and then a foul. Armani Jackson calmly stepped to the line and sank them both to cut the lead to three points. Lakeland immediately pressed the Pioneers again and forced a poor pass and this time a jump ball was called which favored Lakeland. Pegoraro again went hard to the basket and hit a lay-up cutting the lead t0 77-76 with 9.6 seconds to play. Delta was then able to inbound the ball and they were quickly fouled. Corey Pritchett hit 1 of 2 for a 78-76 lead with 8.7 seconds left. Lakeland came out of the time out with the ball in front of their bench in the offensive end. The ball was inbounded to the corner and after a slight hesitation move a three point shot to win it just went off the rim and secured the victory for Delta.
Gardy's Gab: "We came out with low energy tonight – we were just a bit flat. We picked it up in the 3rd quarter a bit and we worked hard to give ourselves a chance at the end, but our overall game effort just wasn't there tonight. I am disappointed with that, but we will regroup and come our ready to play tomorrow."
Next up: Tournament Schedule
9 am Erie CC vs Lakeland CC
1 pm Columbus State CC vs Delta College