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Battle of Firsts: Women Take on Top Team From East vs. Lehigh Valley

Battle of Firsts: Women Take on Top Team From East vs. Lehigh Valley

McKeesport, PA. – Entering the weekend, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (12-7, 9-1) is sitting high atop the Penn State University Athletic Conference West Division and has won each of their last six games. They will look to keep that success going against the top team from the East when they entertain Penn State Lehigh Valley (15-2, 11-0) on Friday at 6 p.m.

PSUGA has been hotter then ever over their last six games with the offense averaging 76.0 points per game over that stretch including a 58-54 win over PSU-DuBois last time out. After scoring 11 of the first 13 points and holding a 17-9 lead after one, DuBois fought back and brought the score to 32-30 as the team’s broke for halftime.

The battle continued through the opening minutes of the third quarter as DuBois took their first lead of the game 38-34. PSUGA would then go on two separate runs of 8-0 in the third quarter and 11-0 in the fourth quarter to up the score to 56-44 with just over three and a half minutes to play. The defense would take it from there holding off DuBois just long enough to pick up the victory.

Junior Teaira Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) led the way with 19 points while teammate Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HS) followed with 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) continued her rebounding tear finishing with a team leading 12 and pushing her season total to 162 ranking her third in the conference.

With the win, Chrissy French and her team officially swept the season series from PSU-DuBois and now need a combination of three wins or DuBois losses to lock up one of the top two seeds in the West entering the PSUAC playoffs. However, that will be no easy task with the top two teams from the East in PSU-Lehigh Valley and PSU-Brandywine looming this weekend.

It starts with Lehigh Valley who remains as the only unbeaten team in the PSUAC with three weeks left to go in the season. In total, they have won each of their last 14 games dating back to November 17th when they lost to Stevens Institute of Technology 57-50.

However, they had to battle last time out against PSU-Hazleton after falling behind 19-18 after one quarter of play. Lehigh Valley would go on to score a combined 61 points over the next two quarters and rolled out with a 105-66 win. Kion Andrews has a big day from the bench with 25 points while Ebony Sanders added 21 points.

In five previous matchups with Lehigh Valley, PSUGA has not faired so well with a record of 1-4 over that stretch. Last season, it was Lehigh Valley that got the upper hand with a 95-65 win. PSUGA is looking for their first win against Lehigh Valley since they picked up a 90-67 win back on February 7th 2014, which is also the last time the team made the playoffs.

Tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m. as the first half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. You can watch the action live at bit.ly/PSUGAYT.