McKeesport, PA – It was a battle of the top two teams in the Penn State University Athletic Conference West Division and the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball team (14-9, 11-3) pulled off a huge 62-59 win over Penn State Beaver (15-5, 9-2). The win gives PSUGA a much better shot at the #1 seed in the playoffs as the season comes down to it’s final two games.
PSUGA had to work from behind early on after Beaver scored 12 of the first 18 points to take a 12-6 lead halfway through the first quarter. Beaver extended their lead to 16-8 with just over a minute to go before PSUGA scored the final two points of the quarter to cut the lead to 16-10. That was just the beginning of the run as PSUGA continued into the second quarter and finished on an 8-2 run that made it a two point game.
PSUGA would take their first lead of the game just two minutes later on a 7-0 run that put them ahead 23-21 with 3:42 left before half time. PSUGA would out score Beaver 6-3 over the final three minutes of play and went into halftime ahead 29-24. It was a big turn around for head coach Chrissy French and her team after the big loss they suffered at the hands of Beaver earlier in the season.
Alex Hall (Washington, D.C./Bell HS) scored six points in the second quarter and was a big reason why PSUGA was able to take the lead. However, Hall and her team were going to have to keep their foot on the gas pedal if they wanted to take down PSU-Beaver for the first time since the 2013 season.
They did just that coming out of the locker room going on a 9-1 run over the first three minutes of the quarter to push their lead to 38-27. Beaver battled back to make it a four point game with four minutes left in the quarter, but the offense once again took charge going on another 7-0 run and they ended the third up 51-40.
However, Beaver was not done going on a 12-0 run that gave them a 52-51 lead with six minutes to play and the back and forth began. PSUGA kept gaining slight advantages but the score came back to even twice more over the next two minutes before PSUGA finished it off on a 6-2 run that sealed the 62-59 victory.
Hall and teammate Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear HS) finished with 12 points each to lead the offense and four different PSUGA players finished in double digits. Teaira Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) led the defense with 13 rebounds and added 10 points to pick up the double-double.
With the win, PSUGA gains a game on PSU-Beaver in the PSUAC West Division standings as they move to 11-3 in conference play. The win still gives them a chance at that number one spot if they win out and get at least two Beaver losses. Chrissy French and her team have their eyes on first place and continue to fight for that spot.
The PSUGA Women’s Basketball team is back in action on Saturday when they take on Penn State New Kensington in non-conference action at 1 p.m.