McKeesport, PA. – It came down to the final seconds on Tuesday night, but the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball team (1-4, 0-0) dropped a heart breaker to Central Penn (3-1, 0-0) in overtime 67-64. PSUGA fought hard throughout, but foul trouble towards the end got them in trouble and they were never able to overcome the deficit.
PSUGA had the lead all the way up until the final seconds of regulation as Central Penn battled back and two free throws from Ja’Lynn Burton-Jones tied things up at 55-55 as time expired. The Knights took the lead to start the overtime period grabbing their first lead of the game, but the teams continued to trade points throughout the extra period bringing it down to the wire once again.
PSUGA found themselves down by one with 17 seconds left on the board thanks to two free throws by Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HA) that brought the score to 63-62. It was Ellis again who came through from the free throw line bringing the score to 65-64 with five seconds remaining. A three-pointer by Central Penn’s Hanna Brown brought the score to 67-64, but PSUGA just couldn’t come up with the final shot needed and fell by that score.
PSUGA was able to get out to a lead early with Tearia Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) taking the opening tip to the net. They had their best offensive half of the season scoring 34 first half points and leading 34-26 as the team’s broke for the locker room. However, the second half belonged to the knights who would outscore PSUGA 39-21 to tie things up before eventually taking the win.
Hartley and Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, PA./Brashear HS) continued their strong starts to the season finishing with 16 and 14 points respectively to lead the team. Both girls have been in double digits in four of their five games this season and have taken it upon themselves to lead this year’s offensive presence. Hartley also excelled on the defensive side of the ball finishing the night with 11 rebounds and seven assists, both team highs.
In all four different PSUGA players finished in double digits with Ellis and Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) rounding out the group with 10 points apiece. PSUGA was pretty efficient from the floor shooting 31.5% and went 14-23 from the free throw line good for a 60.9 free throw percentage.
PSUGA has now dropped their last four straight games, but have competed in all four of those loses. With two more non-conference games before the start of Penn State University Athletic Conference play, there is still time for them to improve as they look to compete this season.
PSUGA is back in action on Wednesday as they wrap up a stretch of five games in seven days when they take on Clarion. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and will be the girl’s first away game this season.