Lycoming once again played a solid first half.
The Warriors received six points from Julia Antonelli, 20 points from the bench and 14 fast break points. The start was good enough for a five-point advantage at halftime.
But, like any sport, it's more about the finish than it is about the start. And things certainly didn't finish the way Lycoming wanted.
The Warriors only connected on 3 of their final 12 shots and were outscored 20-11 over the final five minutes as Eastern went home with a 74-64 win in the consolation game of the Hoops for Hounds Tournament.
Massechusetts College of Liberal Arts won the championship, 69-58, over Susquehanna. Lucy Tremblay posted 23 points and eight rebounds en route to being named the tournament's MVP.
"In the first half when we went to man we created quite a bit of havoc out there," Lycoming coach Christen Ditzler said. "We capitalized off those fast-break points. We did a really nice job there in the second half of the first half."
Rachael Scheller opened the game hot, connecting on a 3-pointer and then finding Janelle Ziminski with a end-to-end pass for an easy layup. That effort gave Lycoming (2-8) a 7-2 advantage to open.
Eastern (5-7) didn't stay down long as Meghan Nowak, who finished with a game-high 10 points in the first half, brought her team back. Nowak hit her only 3-point attempt of the half and nailed four of the five shots she attempted. Nowak finished with 18 points and eight rebounds before she fouled out in the second half.
Lycoming countered Eastern's first half run by scoring the final five points of the half to take a five-point lead into the locker room. Shannon Wheeler hit a 3-pointer and Antonelli followed with a layup to complete the five-point swing.
"We came out really strong in the first half," Ziminski said. "In the second half we got a lot of shot opportunities, but nothing seemed to fall."
The Warriors attempted 34 shots in the second half, but only nine fell.
"In the second half it seemed like we went cold," Ditzler said. "The one positive is I'm happy we had 73 shot attempts. It means we weren't turning the ball over and were getting shot opportunities. Now, we just need to start putting more in the basket."
And with Lycoming's offense matching the temperature outside of the gym, Eastern was quick to pounce.
The Eagles broke open the game with a 12-2 run through the middle of the second half. From that point on, Lycoming was forced to play catch-up, which was difficult considering the team's shooting woes.
"We had some good shot opportunities. We had some high percentage shot opportunities," Ditzler said. "We need to capitalize on them."
Scheller (4 points, 3 assists and 2 steals) knotted the game at 54 apiece with 5:16 left in the game. From that point on Lycoming struggled from the floor and was outscored 20-11 over the span.
Olivia Manges, who added five points and five rebounds off the bench, made a three with 14 second left, but two Gina DiDomenico free throws stopped any chance of a comeback.
The Warriors only made three for 12 attempts over the final five minutes of the game, with one of the makes coming on Scheller's layup as time expired. The other two shots belonged to Antonelli, who nailed a layup underneath the basket, and Manges.
"Coming off the bench you want to help continue what the starters already started," Manges said. "You just want to continue to contribute."
"It relieves a lot of pressure off our starters," Antonelli said of the contributions from the bench. "It's nice having a solid bench that can come in and hit big shots when we need them."
Antonelli scored a career-high 25 points in Friday's game and followed that up with a 22-point performance against Eastern. Sullivan County High School graduate Reilly Gavitt scored 5 points for Eastern before fouling out.
Gina DiDomenico 6-10 5-6 20; Meghan Nowak 6-10 5-6 18; Kelsie Patton 2-7 13-16 18; Kaitlyn Dougherty 2-9 2-2 6; Reilly Gavitt 2-8 1-1 5; Kaleigh Boreman 1-5 2-4 5; Tori Grossi 0-2 2-3 2. Totals 19-51 30-38 74.
Julia Antonelli 9-13 4-5 22; Janelle Ziminski 2-5 4-4 8; Olivia Manges 3-10 1-3 8; Shannon Wheeler 3-11 0-0 7; Shanley Harlacker 2-5 0-0 6; Rachael Scheller 2-6 1-2 6; Chelsea Henderson 1-1 0-2 2; Ali Derr 1-4 0-0 2; Taylor Ford 1-8 0-0 2; Victoria Kowalski 0-3 1-2 1; Kat Andriani 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 24-73 11-18 64.
Halftime:?Lycoming, 33-28. 3-point goals--Eastern 6-18 (DiDomenico 3-6; Nowak 1-1; Boreman 1-3; Patton 1-4; Dougherty 0-4), Lycoming 5-21 (Harlacker 2-4; Wheeler 1-4; Manges 1-4; Scheller 1-3; Ford 0-1; Kowalski 0-3; Ziminski 0-2). Fouled out--Nowak, Gavitt, Wheeler. Rebounds--Eastern 41 (Nowak 8), Lycoming 50 (Antonelli 13). Assists--Eastern 13 (Patton 7), Lycoming 14 (Wheeler 3; Scheller 3). Total fouls--Eastern 20, Lycoming 25. Technical fouls-Derr. A-165
All-Tournament Team - Meghan Nowak (EU), Julia Antonelli (LC)