By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — After earning the No.1 seed in Western Division, the Penn State Beaver women's basketball team battled its way through to the Penn State University Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals after claiming a home victory against the No. 3 seed Penn State DuBois on Tuesday night.
Freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica) topped Beaver's scoring list with a game-high 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals followed by PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who earned 16 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal for the day.
1st quarter: Beaver controlled the tempo of the game after making an 11-2 run in the first five minutes of the game while forcing six turnovers by DuBois. At 3:56, Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) fed Keener the ball, and she drilled a 3-point jumper to give Beaver a 10-point edge at 14-4. The Lady Lions wrapped up the quarter with the defense holding DuBois to only 10 points to pull ahead by 14 points (24-10).
2nd quarter: DuBois continued to struggle with turnovers, prompting Beaver to outscore the rivals 27-17 and rack up a Beaver took a 24-point to end the first half (51-27).
3rd quarter: Momentum persisted for Beaver on both sides of the floor, as the ladies were efficiently pushing the ball up the court and picking up rebounds, which led to Beaver building its largest lead of 37 points on a layup by Thomas (67-32) at 6:02. With 12 seconds to go, Thomas got a steal and found sophomore guard Julia Sabbio (Rochester), who sunk a 2-point jumper on the last play and edged out a 75-42 lead heading into the final quarter.
4th quarter: While DuBois did outscore Beaver by 5 points in the final quarter (18-13), the early dominant effort by the Lady Lions seal an 88-60 victory for the night and a ticket to the Friday's semifinal match.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver shot 6.1 percent higher than DuBois from the field and 15 percent higher from 3-point range. Beaver also outshot DuBois 30-22 on points in the paint, 18-12 on second-chance points and 36-15 on points off turnovers. Beaver outrebounded DuBois 47-34 and also earned up 12 more assists (21-9).
After knocking off DuBois, the Lady Lions will be back for more PSUAC playoff action, when they host Penn State Brandywine in the conference semifinals on Friday, Feb. 22. The game starts at 7 p.m.