McKeesport, PA. – It was an electric atmosphere inside the Wunderly Gymnasium when the two top teams in the Penn State University Athletic Conference did battle Friday night. After fighting back from a 20 point deficit, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball team (12-8, 9-2) came up just short falling to Penn State Lehigh Valley (16-2, 12-0) 104-78.
The score was not indicative of the hard work the women put in throughout the night. They never backed down from the top team in the conference and were right there with them for the first three quarters of the ball game.
It was Lehigh Valley that started the game with all the momentum going on a 10-2 run over the first six and a half minutes of action. PSUGA would then start to chip away at the lead going on a short 4-0 run that brought the score to 10-6 and they were able to stay with them throughout the quarter. Kiya Blair (Pittsburgh, PA./Carrick HS) hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and pulled to within five points and trailed 22-17 after one.
Lehigh Valley’s Kion Andrews and Rebecca Fuehrer would show their offensive prowess in the second quarter leading their team to 28 points in the quarter with 10 and 13 points respectively. However, something clicked for PSUGA in the final seconds of the half as they got three consecutive steals resulting in an 8-0 run that sent the teams into the locker room with Lehigh Valley leading 50-35.
Lehigh Valley was at it again to start the second half getting out to a 56-40 lead over the first four minutes. PSUGA would then answer with a 13-2 run that put them right back in the ball game 58-53. The battle continued throughout the quarter and PSUGA got to within eight by quarters end and trailed 68-60 as the teams entered the fourth quarter.
However, Lehigh Valley would take over the game over the final ten minutes putting up a game high 36 points in the quarter including 10 each from Andrews and Ebony Sanders as they pulled out the 104-78 victory. PSUGA fought hard throughout the night and gave Lehigh Valley their toughest competition of the season in conference play thus far.
Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, PA./Brashear HS) led the way with 18 points on the night and teammate Teaira Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) added 17 to the attack. Blair had one of her best games of her career with 12 points and tied with teammate Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) for the team lead with seven rebounds.
The loss moves PSUGA to 9-2 in conference play and breaks a season high six game winning streak. However, their magic number can still drop if PSU-DuBois loses to PSU-Brandywine later tonight. PSUGA has a lot of good to take from this game as they head down the stretch.
The women are back in action Saturday afternoon when they battle PSU-Brandywine at 1 p.m. as the first half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.