By: Matylda Zamudio
Mont Alto, Pa. –- The Penn State Beaver Lady Lions' dominant (24-10) first quarter performance propelled them to take down Penn State Mont Alto, 89-64, in the team's fourth straight PSUAC road match Friday night.
Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) topped Beaver's scoring list with a double-double tonight with a game-high 18 points, contributed 11 assists, five assists and three steals followed by freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana) with 17 points and seven rebounds of her own.
Junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard) earned a season-high 15 points for herself in tonight's match. Freshman forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) joined Thomas on the double-double list with 12 points and 10 assists for Beaver.
1st quarter: Beaver got off to a quick start, opening the game with a 10-2 spurt in the first two minutes. At 4:24, Thomas scored a layup on an assist by Lopez to give Beaver a double-digit lead (20-9). Beaver controlled the tempo of the remaining minutes in the first, with the defense forcing three turnovers and holding Mont Alto to only 10 points as the first commenced. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 24-10.
2nd quarter: The teams went back and forth on scoring for the five minutes of the second. At 4:42, the Lady Lions made a 6-point run in under two minutes with two back-to-back shots from behind the arch for Beaver (42-24) Beaver did a good job out-rebounding Mont Alto by three boards with Thomas and Cross accounting for seven of Beaver's nine boards in the second. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 20-19, leading by 44-29 at halftime.
3rd quarter: Mont Alto started to swift momentum from Beaver, holding the Lady Lions scoreless for the first four minutes and cutting its deficit down to 8 points (44-36). But Beaver soon took another double-digit lead over Mont Alto after scoring back-to-back three's (50-36) followed by a late 13-point run, including hitting 3-3 shots from downtown, to put Beaver up by 25 points with a little over a minute left in the third (65-40). Beaver shot 71.4 percent from 3-point range, completing 5-7. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 21-15, entering the final quarter with a 65-44 lead.
4th quarter: At 8:04, Lopez sunk a 3-point jump shot to facilitate a 13-point run and built Beaver's largest lead of 30 points down to the 6:04 mark (78-48). The defense played tough for the remaining minutes of the game, forcing four turnovers by Mont Alto and holding the visitors to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 12.5 percent shooting (1-8) from behind the arch. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 24-20 in the fourth quarter, winning by a final score of 89-64.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver built its largest lead of 30 points at the 6:04 mark in the fourth quarter. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 24-20 in the paint, 25-13 on points off turnovers and allowed 13 fewer turnovers. Beaver also racked up seven more boards than Mont Alto (21-14). Beaver also shot 9.8 percent higher from the field and 12.4 percent higher from downtown.
The Lady Lions hold the first-place spot in the PSUAC standings (4-0) with an 8-1 regular season record.
Beaver will return to action at home against Community College of Beaver County on Friday, Dec. 14. Game time begins at 4:30 p.m.