By Jim Hunter
Special to The Meadville Tribune
Home sweet home.
Edinboro University’s Valerie Majewski, the former General McLane standout who returned to the ’Boro this season after two years at the University of Buffalo, was in her old comfort zone Sunday afternoon.
Exploding for 23 second-half points, Majewski practically single-handedly carried Edinboro to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship as the Fighting Scots knocked off Gannon University, 86-76 at the McComb Field House.
The win earned Edinboro (24-5) a trip to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will begin Saturday.
The loss was only Gannon’s third of the season — all to the Fighting Scots. The Lady Knights, ranked third in Division II prior to the championship game, are now 27-3 on the season, and are probably NCAA tournament-bound, too.
After dishing out a career-high 16 assists in Edinboro’s 104-82 semifinal win over West Chester on Saturday, Majewski, who was the named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year last week, opted for a different offensive approach against Gannon.
After scoring 10 points in the first half as Edinboro held a slim 43-41 lead, Majewski amped up her offensive game in the second half and the Lady Knights felt the pain.
Hitting four consecutive shots from different areas on the court, Majewski keyed a decisive 16-9 run as the Lady Scots took a 72-63 lead with 5:19 remaining in the game.
The EU junior guard bombed in two 3-pointers from the left corner and scored on two cuts to the hoop.
The Lady Knights never recovered.
Fittingly, the hometown Majewski sealed the PSAC championship in the final minutes. Hearing chants of “MVP ... MVP ... MVP” from the EUP student body, Majewski scored nine points — a 3-pointer, reverse layup and four free throws — in the final 2:25 of action.
The EU student body was correct as Majewski was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player afterwards.
Game notes: The red-hot Majewski was 12-for-18 from the floor, five-for-six from 3-point range ... EU teammates Laurel Lindsay and Aignee Freeland each scored 16 points and Lauren Hippo netted 11 ... The Lady Scots shot 55 percent from the floor, 32-for-58. They were better from 3-point range, 10-for-16 (63%) ... Linday dished out a team-high eight assists ... The Fighting Scots only committed five turnovers in the game ... Jen Papich was Gannon’s top gun with 23 points. Mollie Sebald and Kelley Sundberg also hit double figures with 16 and 11 points, respectively ... In attendance, Meadville’s most-respected ABC’s — Charlie Anderson, Dick Burkhardt and Art Cocolin.