Boston, MA- The Falcons (10-7) and the Redhawks (15-4) were at it again this afternoon at the Winsor School in Boston, MA, but the game was much different than the Falcons loss last evening. The two teams battled back and forth in a hard fought contest with the home team holding the lead for 95% of the game, but ultimately the Falcons fell just short dropping their fourth straight 54-52 to the second ranked Indiana University Northwest.
Last night the Falcons never had a lead against the Redhawks, but this afternoon the team got on the board first and trailed just twice in the first half. Vivian Lara (Norwalk, CA) and Kellie Gaston (Tampa, FL) were hot right from tip-off as they each knocked down a pair of three's in the first quarter to give their squad a 16-10 lead after the first frame. Shaniah Hazard (Providence, RI) provided a six-point spark off the bench in the second quarter, allowing her team to keep the lead heading into halftime, 29-25.
The Falcons came out of the break hungry and eager to put the game out of reach as a Lara three-pointer at the 7:42 mark in the third quarter gave her team the biggest lead of the game as they went up 35-27. The Redhawks responded however, with a 7-0 run to keep them within reach bringing the score to 35-34. The seesaw battle would continue the last five minutes of the quarter with Gaston hit the next three baskets for FC to give her team a 41-40 lead heading into the final stanza.
After the Falcons jumped out to a 5-point lead early in the fourth, IU battled back to tie it again at 47-47 at the 6:04 mark. The Falcons maintained the lead for the rest of the quarter until IU's Grayce Roach drained a three-pointer from the top of the arc with just 59 seconds left to give her team their first lead since the 5:38 mark in the second quarter when they were up 19-18. The Falcons took the ball up court looking for an open shot and with time winding down on the shot clock, Jenny-Lynn Eggers (Sonoma, CA) was forced to put up a three that sailed to the right off the rim into the hands of Jocelyn Mendoza (Morgan Hill, CA) who secured the offensive board with :34 seconds left. Coach Ford called a time out to draw up a play for their last opportunity down 54-52. The Falcons got the ball into Gaston's hands for the last shot but it popped out and IU's Michelle Borgen gobbled up the rebound as time expired to secure the victory.
Gaston led the way for her team, finishing with 22 points while adding four boards and two blocks in the losing effort. Lara earned her fourth double-double of the season as she added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Falcons. Hazard finished the game just shy of double digits with nine points and six rebounds, including four on the offensive side of the ball. The Redhawks were led by Roach who finished the game with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Borgen finished with a double-double adding 16 points and 14 rebounds. Ashley O'Malley was a force under the rim as she grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds in the victory.
The Falcons will rest up and hit the road on Wednesday when they face off against the Pine Manor Gators in Chestnut Hill at 6pm.