McKeesport, PA. – It was a playoff atmosphere inside the Wunderly Gymnasium on Tuesday night as the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (12-7, 9-1) played host to Penn State DuBois (10-5, 6-4). After a long battle, it was PSUGA that came out on top 56-54 in what very well could be a first round Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoff Preview.
It had been offense that fueled PSUGA over their season high six game winning streak, but defense was the name of the game early on. PSUGA forced 19 turnovers over the first ten minutes of play and the offense took advantage jumping out to an 11-2 lead halfway through the quarter. After a short 4-0 run that upped the advantage to 15-4, both offenses went silent as the defenses took over. It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the quarter that someone would get back on the board and PSUGA would come out on top 17-9 after one.
After PSUGA extended their lead to 24-17 with five minutes before halftime, DuBois’s offense took over going on a 6-0 run that cut the lead to 24-23 with just under four to play. The team’s would trade the final 15 points of the half and it would be PSUGA who entered the locker room with the slight 32-30 advantage.
The battle continued through the majority of the third quarter with neither team having more then a two point advantage throughout the first nine minutes. It was at the 1:46 mark that PSUGA would go on a crucial 4-0 run that gave them a 46-44 advantage after three-quarters of play and would prove to be what they needed to pick up the win.
DuBois came right back at the start of the fourth quarter to make it a 46-44 game but once again PSUGA got the advantage with Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear HS) hitting a bucket to make it 48-44. PSUGA would seal the deal going on an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 56-47 and was enough to help them capture victory for the sixth straight game.
Teaira Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS) continued her strong offensive performance as of late putting up a team high 19 points while grabbing nine rebounds. Teammate Jayla Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HS) followed behind her with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) led the defense with 12 rebounds.
The win pushes PSUGA to 9-1 in conference play and gives them the series sweep over PSU-DuBois. The win also goes a long way to helping PSUGA secure a home playoff game. As they head into the weekend, they have to win two of their next three games to secure the number two seed and host in the first round of the PSUAC playoffs.
PSUGA is back in action on Friday with a tough test against Penn State Lehigh Valley at 6 p.m. as the first half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.