By: Matylda Zamudio
Monaca, Pa. – The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team defeated Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College on Saturday night in the team's first match of this weekend's PSU Beaver Tournament.
The Lady Lions entered the game on a two-game win streak to start the season and this young roster has looked formidable in each game.
In the first quarter, sophomore Diamond Thomas scored a jump shot right off the bat to land Beaver on the board first (2-0). Saint Mary-of-the-Woods responded with a layup less than a minute later. Halfway through the first, Beaver went on a 6-point run and took a 12-6 lead over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. But a foul by Beaver on the next possession sent Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to the free throw line for two attempts, to which the opponents made both, cutting Beaver's lead to 4 points (12-8). This prompted Saint Mary-of-the-Woods to make its own 6-point run and tie the game at 12-12. To slow down Saint Mary-of-the-Woods and get Beaver back on top, freshman Jimya Chambers made a fast layup on the next possession. However, the tables turned for Beaver once again when Saint Mary-of-the-Woods hit a late 3-pointer with only a minute and a half left in the game, taking its first lead over Beaver (14-15). But the teams ended the first with the game tied at 16-16.
Beaver's offense found its rhythm in the second quarter, taking a double-digit lead midway through the second (30-20). The defense played tough as the second quarter proceeded, forcing 5 turnovers from Saint Mary, which propelled Beaver to pull away with a 20 point lead with only 37 seconds left. With second-quarter wrapped up, Beaver shot 56.5 percent from the field and outscored Saint Mary-of-the-Woods 30-11, leading by 19 at halftime (46-27).
The teams were close on scoring, with Beaver only scoring 3 more points than Saint Mary-of-the-Woods at the end of the third quarter and leading by 22 going into the final quarter (70-48). Senior Brittany Jackson was a huge playmaker in the fourth, scoring 7 points in the four minutes she played and making three out of three from the field. The teams tied in scoring in the fourth quarter with 20 points apiece. The Lady Lion's early lead helped them beat Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in the end with a final score of 90-68.
Beaver scored 50 of its 90 points in the paint. The bench also contributed 25 points tonight. Thomas and Chambers both led the offense in scoring, putting up 18 points each. Jackson had another impressive performance coming off the bench, scoring 14 points and 14 rebounds for the night.
With a win against Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Beaver extends its winning streak to 3-0. The Lady Lions will be back tomorrow, Nov. 18 to play against Carlow in the second day of the PSU Beaver Tournament. The game begins at 4 p.m.