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Vulcan women snaps skid with 80-72 win in D-II tourney

| Saturday, March 16, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
California University's Stephanie Michael scored 25 points, hitting four of four three-pointers, in an 80-72 win over Edinboro in the first round of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Friday.

It was ‘Upset City' in the first round of the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region at Gannon's Hammermill Center Friday.

As a result, California University will be playing Glenville State in the semifinals at 5 p.m. today.

After Glenville State (27-3) knocked off third seed and defending champion Shaw, 111-86, in the first game of the day, the Vulcans stunned second-seeded Edinboro, 80-72.

The Vulcans (21-8) not only pulled off a big upset, they stopped a personal eight-game losing streak against Edinboro (22-7) in the process.

Stephanie Michael scored 25 points and Ryah Gadson came off the bench to add 14 to lead Cal U, which also got 13 points from Emma Mahady.

Ashley Hines added nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

The Vulcans got off to a hot start against the Fighting Scots, taking a 32-23 lead with 6:47 left in the half as they made 61 percent of their shots from the floor.

The hottest Vulcan was Michael, who tallied 15 points in that span.

Edinboro then battled back to close within 33-31 at the 3:55 mark on a basket by Aignee Freeland, who had 16 points in the first half.

But Cal went on a 9-0 streak to open up a 42-31 lead when Ryah Gadson hit a jumper with 21 seconds left in the half.

The Vulcans took a 42-34 lead into halftime, hitting 53 percent of their shots (17-for-32) and turning the ball over just four times.

Cal did a great job of shutting down Edinboro's two big guns in the first half, holding Kiara Brown (three) and Samantha Blazetic (two) to five total points.

Brown, who was saddled with foul problems most of the game, finished with just five points.

In the second half, Cal's lead ballooned as high as 15 points when Elena Antonenko hit a three-pointer with 16:51 left to play.

But the Fighting Scots lived up to their name by fighting back.

They cut the deficit to five points (57-52) on two free throws by Freeland with 10:54 to play.

But Cal's Chelsea McKnight hit a trey with 10:13 left to get the lead back up to 70-62 and the closest Edinboro got after that was six points on a few occasions.

Cal, meanwhile, got the lead back up to 12 points with 1:16 to go on a jumper in the paint by Michael.

Edinboro was led by Freeland with 20 points while Darche Jackson added 19 and Laurel Lindsay had 10.

In other first round action Friday, top-seeded Gannon defeated Fairmont State, 66-40. Gannon (29-4) will meet the winner of the

Indiana (22-8) vs Bloomsburg (24-5) contest, which was not over before press time. That game will be played at 7:30 p.m.

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