Glenville State women fall in Atlantic Region semifinal, 81-79

ERIE, Pa. – Stephanie Michael’s lay-in with five seconds to go lifted California (Pa.) past Glenville State, 81-79, here Saturday inside the Hammermill Center at Gannon University as the Vulcans advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 by knocking off the Pioneers in the semifinals of the Atlantic Region.

The sixth-seeded Pioneers of head coach Bunky Harkleroad had the ball at halfcourt with 4.3 seconds to play, but Aesha Peters’ inside deuce didn’t count as the horn went off prior to the ball leaving her hand.

Ginny Mills, who hit 7 of 11 from downtown while adding seven boards and three steals, pumped in a season-high 37 points for the Pioneers, who trailed 9-0 out of the gate.

Seventh-seeded California led by as many as 15 in the first half before GSC cut the deficit to 50-43 at intermission.

Glenville State, which concluded its season at 27-4, never led in the contest, had 25 turnovers and missed nine foul shots.

The Pioneers finally got the game within two at 60-58 with 14:06 left on an Ashleigh Fossett 3-pointer, but the Vulcans (22-8) went on a 10-3 spurt in the next 4:28 to push their advantage back to nine.

However, consecutive field goals by Kenyona Simmons, who like Fossett and fellow teammate LaToya Hambrick finished with seven points apiece, knotted the affair at 77 with 2 minutes remaining.

Although Elena Antonenko, who finished with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds, scored inside 12 seconds later to put the Vulcans back on top, GSC answered with a Kenyell Goodson lay-in at the 1:17 mark to tie the game for the final time.

Michael led Cal, which had defeated GSC 102-55 earlier this season, with a team-high 23 points. Irina Kukolj chipped in a dozen points for the victors, who also received nine tallies apiece from Emma Mahady and Chelsea McKnight.

Pioneer Jelena Elez contributed 12 points and six assists.