Morristown NJ. – The Blue and White Lady Lions have had quite a ride so far this season. They have experienced sudden loss of players due to injuries, set individual career high's, set new team records, won a lot of games, lost a few, and even had one Lucky player get a second chance. This game will be remembered as a thriller that went down to the last 30 seconds before Harrisburg would get out gunned by just a little bit and travel home with a 68-63 loss.
The Lions started the game on top when they opened up the first 7 minutes on a 13-8 run. The Eagles answered back quickly scoring the next six points until a Mercedes Copeland (Reading, Pa. / Reading) three pointer tied the game at 16 with 9:01 to go in the half. Copeland was the star of the show leading the team in scoring with 24, rebounds with 13, and steals with 6. Lucky Snypse (Philadelphia, Pa. / George Washington Carver of Engineering and Science) found herself on the floor for the first time in 2013; this should definitely help the Lions down the stretch and was a welcomed return.
Over the next few minutes both teams took advantage of their chances, but after a Lindsey Haldeman (Grantville, Pa. / Hershey Christian) jumper Harrisburg had themselves another five point lead 25-20 with 7:03 remaining in the half. Five straight converted scoring chances helped give the Blue and White their biggest lead of the night 33-23 with 1:53 remaining in the half.
The Eagles clawed back a few before the whistle and had the game within reach down 35-29 at Halftime. They continued to fight and with the help of a 13-1 run to start the second had not only caught up with Harrisburg, but took a 40-36 lead. The next few minutes swung back in the direction of the Lions and with 8:32 remaining we had another tie game at 47-47. Shortly after, Mikhail Whitcomb, playing strong off the bench, drained a three pointer for the last lead of the night for the Lions.
Both teams would battle until the finish. As the Eagles stretched their lead by five with 1:32 to go in the game Harrisburg did think twice and responded with the next four points putting them down one 64-63 with just 50 second to play. That's when the Lions would not get another shot attempt until the last ten seconds and the Eagles found themselves on the free throw line twice and converted four straight they closed the game 68-63.
Harrisburg will hopefully take full advantage of the experience gained in this thriller so they can make sure the remaining tight games fall in their favor. Odds are good there will be at least one between their final two games this week against Penn State Rivals Abington (Wed) and Berks (Sat) followed directly with the women's trip to the playoffs that will be here and gone ever so quickly. Will the Lions have the scoring, leadership and poise to land on top in the NEAC conference playoffs? Only time will tell.