The Women’s basketball team’s playoff hopes were dashed Saturday night when they lost to Kenyon College 80-50. The Gators (15-11) were upended by Kenyon (20-7) for the second time in two weeks, this time in their semi-final playoff contest. Seniors Ann Ryan and Daryl Ford were effective for the Gators in their final game in an Allegheny uniform, scoring a combined 22 points.
Ford was rewarded for her efforts by being named to the all-tournament team along with an all NCAC first team selection. She ended the season in the top ten statistically in scoring, rebounding, free throw percentage and field goal percentage.
“I am happy and excited to see that all of my hard work has paid off,” Ford said. “I worked very hard to improve each year as a player and leader since my freshman season, and it showed. I was actually surprised to be named to first team, so that has made it even more exciting.”
Emma Pellicano, ‘16, ended a brilliant freshman campaign with a strong performance in which she went 5-8 from the foul line and dropped a team high of 15 points. She was also named NCAC Newcomer of the Year and received an honorable mention all league after finishing twelfth in total scoring.
Despite keeping the game close for the first few minutes, the Gators problems started when Kenyon went on a 16-0 run to go up 29-12 with 6 minutes left. The run was powered by Kenyon’s Maureen Hirt, who had 15 points over seven minutes. Kenyon had a 74 percent shooting average during the first and entered halftime up 45-19.
“Kenyon is a very strong basketball team and we had no answer to their run in the first half,” said head coach Kate Costanzo, “They shot incredibly well and we struggled to generate offense on our own.
The second half held more of the same for Allegheny as they struggled to keep pace with Kenyon’s explosive offense.
“Our defense has lead to our offense all year,” Ryan said, “ and we weren’t able to get into a good defensive swing at the beginning of the game.”
The Ladies led by more than 20 points for the entirety of the second half and were up by 30 at one point in the game. Kenyon had four players who scored double digits and were led by Hirt and Kayla Ernst who had 24 and 19 points respectively. Despite being tied in rebounding and turnovers, Kenyon’s offensive prowess proved crucial as they out-shot Allegheny 63 percent to 35 percent.
It was a disappointing end to a memorable season in which the Gators continually proved they could play with the cream of the crop in the NCAC. Despite sometimes playing 6 or 7 freshman a game they managed to win in the always tough NCAC. Despite the early exit, Ford stressed that the team had managed to prove many critics wrong.
“We improved so much over the course of the season and finished as one of the strongest contenders in the NCAC,” Ford said. “I’m especially proud of our freshman, they are an amazing group and they surprised everyone in our conference.”
While the losses of seniors Ford, Ryan and Becca Bajkowski will hurt the Gators, the future looks bright as they return a handful of experienced underclassmen.
“We will miss the leadership and experience of Becca, Ann, and Daryl,” Costanzo said. “I know that other members of the team will step up and fill the leadership roles and it’s exciting to have a strong core returning for 2013-14.”
For Ryan, her Allegheny career is something she will never forget.
“My career has been one amazing ride, which I have grown as a person and a leader and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of my teammates, both present and past,” Ryan said. “I wouldn’t have changed one thing about it.”