McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball team (15-10, 11-4) put up a fight all the way to the end, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Penn State Fayette (12-13, 8-7) 77-70. It was back and forth all night, but late foul trouble put PSUGA down their best three shooters and ultimately is what did them in as their Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff run was cut short.
The first quarter was a back and forth battle as the momentum shifted from one side to the other throughout the quarter, and the teams were tied up 9-9 just under six minutes into the game. That’s when Fayette’s offense struck going on a 7-0 run that put them ahead 16-9 and forced PSUGA to play from behind. They got the score to 18-13 by quarters end and were sitting right where they wanted to be as they headed to the second.
After going back and forth with no score for the first two minutes, PUGA went on a short 7-4 run that brought the score back to 22-20 halfway through the second. The game would go back and forth through the final four minutes and Fayette went into the locker room ahead 30-25. It was a team effort throughout the first half with all but one player dressed having at least two points by halftime.
Fayette would break things open after PSUGA made the first bucket of the half going on a 10-0 run that upped their advantage to 40-27. PSUGA kept the deficit right around 15 for the remainder of the quarter and headed into the final 10 minutes of play trailing 55-40. It was time for PSUGA’s offense to come to life if they wanted to get back into the game and fight for a chance to move on.
PSUGA would respond with their biggest offensive quarter of the season scoring 30 points in the final quarter and brought the score to 73-70 with 1:14 showing on the clock. However, their earlier fouls would come back to haunt them as their top three scorers all fouled out of the game with under two minutes to go and Fayette scored the final seven points of the game and picked up the victory.
Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) had a career day leading both the offense and the defense scoring a career high 17 points while grabbing a career high 18 rebounds in the loss. Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HS) finished right behind her with 12 points and four rebounds.
The loss ends a magical season for PSUGA that saw them do a complete turn around from a season ago. They almost tripled their win total finishing with 15 and tying the program record for wins in a single season. With only one starter leaving due to graduation, PSUGA looks to come back strong once again next season and build off of this season’s success.
PSUGA will now await to see if they receive a bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association tournament with teams set to be announced on Saturday. There is still hope that their season can stay alive.