By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. – The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team defeated PSUAC rival Penn State Fayette 68-63 on Monday night after a dominant first-half performance.
Three of Beaver's starters earned double-digit points starting with two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton), who earned a game-high 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists, followed by PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who scored 12 points of her own.
Freshman forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) earned a double-double for Beaver with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
1st quarter: The Lady Lions established an offense early, forging a 10-0 in the first four minutes of the game. The defense kept the pressure on Fayette, only allowing the visitors to make 3-15 from the field and wrap up the first quarter with Beaver taking an 11-point lead heading into the second (19-8).
2nd quarter: Beaver's defense stayed solid, forcing contested shots by Fayette, who continued to struggle from the field, only shooting 25 percent on 6-24. Beaver ended the first half ahead by 14 points (36-22).
3rd quarter: The Lady Lions brought the same energy out to start the third by scoring back-to-back layups only a minute into the second half. At 8:03, Beaver built its largest lead of 19 points on a 3-pointer by Cross (43-24). Beaver led by double-digits down to the 1:48, until Fayette started to close the gap with two late back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Beaver's advantage down to only 6 points entering the final quarter (49-43).
4th quarter: Fayette kept the game competitive in the fourth, as the teams went back-and-forth on scoring. But the Lady Lions held on to their lead and locked down a 68-63 victory on their home floor.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver outshot Fayette 69.2 percent to 41.2 percent from the charity stripe, hitting 9-13 free throws, 34-26 in the paint, 30-19 on points off turnovers and 15-8 on second-chance points. Beaver also outrebounded Fayette 43-38 and racked up four more assists.
With today's win against Penn State Fayette, Beaver sits at a 9-1 record in the conference standings and the first-place spot in the PSUAC-West, improving to a 15-3 overall season record.
The Lady Lions will travel to Penn State Greater Allegheny on Wednesday, Feb. 6, to play in their second of four PSUAC matches scheduled for this week. The game is slated for 6 p.m.