McKeesport, PA. – In a week where the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (12-7, 9-1) picked up two of their biggest wins in program history, the team jumped one more spot to a tie for #11 in the country in the weekly United States Collegiate Athletic Association coach’s poll. The women clinched their first playoff spot in four years and are just two to three wins away from claiming one of the top two spots in the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs.
The week started with the biggest win in the last four years for the PSUGA women’s program when they took down Penn State York 79-48 to grab just their second PSUAC playoff berth since 2010. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort as four of the five starters finished in double digits for PSUGA including a season high 21 point effort from junior Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HS).
After jumping out to a 36-22 lead after two quarters of play, PSUGA was able to keep their foot on the pedal adding 46 in the second half to pick up the win. It was probably the most complete game that head coach Chrissy French’s team has played this season, and it was spearheaded by the three offensive powerhouses Ellis, Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear HS) and Teaira Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) who each scored 19 in the win.
PSUGA had to get a little more creative on Tuesday, but still did what it needed to do to pick up a 58-54 victory. After jumping out to a 17-9 lead after one, DuBois fought back and made it a game again with a 21 point second quarter that sent the teams into the locker room with PSUGA up 32-30. After DuBois took their first lead of the game halfway through the third quarter, runs of 10-0 and 11-0 would seal the deal as the defense held DuBois off to pick up the win.
This time, it was Hartley leading the way with 19 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Ellis put up 11 points and scored team highs in assists (4) and rebounds (10). Despite an off night from Clybourn, her teammates were able to pick her up and bring PSUGA’s magic number to clinch a home playoff game down to three.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, PSUGA currently leads the PSUAC West Division by a half game over PSU-Beaver. However, with their two toughest test of the season still to come this weekend in PSU-Lehigh Valley and PSU-Brandywine, PSUGA still has a lot of work to do in terms of seeding before all is said and done.
The weekend starts when PSUGA takes on PSU-Lehigh Valley on Friday as the first half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.