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Friday Night Lights 3/27/2020 Part 1- A look back at historic college basketball games

Friday Night Lights

Mercyhurst University’s Men’s Basketball Elite Eight

A year ago, we were there at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana for Mercyhurst University’s historic Elite Eight game. Let’s just say that run had it all. From putting together new puzzle pieces to revenge games and upsets that enabled the group to leave their mark on the local sports scene.

Picked fourth in the PSAC West in the pre-season going into the 2018-19 men’s basketball season, there were lots of unknowns for the Mercyhurst’s Men’s Basketball Team. With six players finishing their college basketball careers with one last go-around, the Lakers maximized their talent with upperclassmen making names for themselves under the direction of head coach Gary Manchel.

Gannon University’s Women’s Basketball Team’s march to the Final Four

Ten years ago this month, the Gannon Women’s Basketball Team captured the imagination of fans and alumni across the region on its march to the NCAA Final Four.

After reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009, the lofty goal of making an Elite Eight began immediately for Gannon head coach Cleve Wright and his returning players. Their focus and commitment to 2010 was undeniable.

Led by five senior starters, four of which became 1,000 point scorers Kim Vargas and Brittany Tabron handled the front court while Tiffany Crocker, Kristina Freeman and Carrie Nolan were in the back court.

Boasting a 33 and 0 record, Gannon rolled through the regular season and captured the PSAC tournament title. It was a matter of handling stress versus pressure each time out.

As the top seed in the 2010 NCAA Atlantic Regional, the Lady Knights pushed their winning stream to 36 straight by knocking off Fairmont State, Seton Hill and Millersville. In the process, Gannon punched its first ever ticket to the Elite Eight.

Their journey would end in the national semi-finals with an overtime loss to eventual national champion, Emporia State.

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