McKeesport, Pa. – It was a first half of the season to forget for the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (0-11, 0-4). They dropped every game they played and, while they played hard and showed passion on the court, scored over 50 points only twice in those 11 contests. However, the second half brings a new opportunity for the women to put the first half in the past and turn things around.
After ending 2017 with eight straight road games, they have a healthy dose of home games to end the season with eight of their last 11 games being played in the Wunderly Gymnasium. The Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff tournament maybe out of reach, but the ladies still have a lot to play for in 2018.
One of the leaders who will look to be a driving force in the offensive attack is Sophomore Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills). Ellis has scored in double digits in all but two games this season and is currently leading her team averaging 13.2 points per game. Ellis bursted onto the scene in the spring semester of last season scoring 111 points in her first 12 games. She has continued that success this season opening up with a career high 27-point effort against Butler County Community College and scoring a team leading 145 points.
PSUGA averaged just 43.1 PPG in the first half of the season and will need to see more offensive production from Ellis and the rest of the women in the second half. Brandy Taylor (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) is one of the girls who will try to help Ellis bring the offensive production up. She has averaged 11.0 PPG so far and has led the team in assists with 30 in her Freshman season. If she is able to score a little more and feed Ellis the ball, it will go a long way to getting the offense to produce better numbers.
PSUGA can look forward to the fact that they have had the upper hands on the two teams they start 2018 with in PSU-Wilkes Barre and PSU-Worthington Scranton. PSUGA has an all-time record of 5-1 against both teams dating back to the 2011/2012 season and will look to continue that good fortune.
Head Coach Chrissy French preaches to her girls that it is about the performance on the court and not what the scoreboard says at the end of the game. Her girls have provided her with hard fought basketball all season long and that is what French wants to continue to focus on as the season moves along.
2018 gets kicked off for Women’s Basketball on Friday when they take on PSU-Wilkes Barre as game one of a Men’s and Women’s Basketball doubleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside the Wunderly Gymnasium.