Jake Deemer – Staff Writer
Clarion’s women’s basketball team made an appearance in the PSAC Tournament for the first time in four years.
Clarion struggled the majority of the game in route to a 74-46 loss to Mercyhurst.
The Golden Eagles record stood at 15-14 coming into Monday night up against Mercyhurst’s 23-6 record.
While Mercyhurst came in as the third seed in the PSAC West Division, Clarion was the sixth seed.
Both teams came out to a fast start as senior Delrika Jones-Carey shot a perfect 4-4 from the field in the first quarter.
Despite Jones-Carey’s excellent early play, Mercyhurst’s offense was clicking on all cylinders.
The Lakers shot 57 percent from the field and 4-8 of 3-point range in the first half.
Mercyhurst held a 44-26 lead heading into the locker rooms at half.
The second half was more of the same story as the Lakers went on a 21-10 run to lock up a first round win.
Mercyhurst was led by seniors Natalie Piaggesi and Angela Heintz. Piagessi led the team in scoring with 31 points, seven rebound and was a perfect 7-7 from the free-throw line.
Henitz, on the other hand, had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Clarion only connect one of its 15 shot attempts from behind the arc, 6.7 percent, for the game.
Mercyhurst drilled five three’s out of 12 attempts.
Mercyhurst will play Indiana of Pa. in the second round on Wednesday, March 1 at 5:30 pm.
For Clarion, they wrap up one of the best seasons in recent memory.
Jana Ashley deserves mounds of credit for turning around a program that had two wins in the 2014-15 season.
Clarion’s win Saturday at Edinboro clinched the Golden Eagle’s first winning season since 2009-10.
The Golden Eagles will say good-bye to a handful of seniors including leading scorer Tyra Polite, who averaged 16.1 points per game this season.
The rest of the senior class included Quorea Pearyer, Delrika Jones-Carey and Jen Straw.