By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver women's basketball is playing red-hot as the postseason approaches, capturing back-to-back conference wins after defeating PSUAC rival Penn State Schuylkill 96-31 at home on Saturday afternoon.
Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) led in scoring for Beaver with a game-high 24 points and five rebounds followed by freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica), who earned 19 points and four rebounds.
Coming off the bench, freshman forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson Center/Lakeview) earned a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
1st quarter: Beaver controlled the tempo early, forging a 16-0 run in the first four and half minutes of the game. At 4:14, Thomas made a layup off her steal to give Beaver a 19-point advantage (21-2). The defense continued to do a good job with man-to-man coverage, forcing Schuylkill to take contested shots and holding them to 26.7 percent shooting from the field on 4-15 attempts. Beaver led 28-12.
2nd quarter: The teams played more competitive in the second, with the teams both scoring four points apiece in the first five minutes. But Beaver outpaced Schuylkill in the latter minutes of the quarter, outscoring Schuylkill 11-2 in the under four minutes. Beaver took a 15-point lead before halftime (45-20).
3rd quarter: Turnovers, once again, were Schuylkill's Achilles heel, with Beaver forcing seven including three in the final minute and half of the quarter, which helped the Lady Lions outscore Schuylkill 28-9. Beaver was ahead 73-29 heading into the final quarter.
4th quarter: The fourth set the stage for the Lady Lion's most dominant quarter-performance defensively, forcing five turnovers by Schuylkill while holding the visitors to only 2 points and also had effective performances in the paint by sophomore guard Libby Thomas (New Brighton) and freshman forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson/Lakeview), who combined for 10 boards. Sophomore guard Julia Sabbio (Rochester) had a big offensive performance in the fourth, contributing 9 of Beaver's 23 points to their side of the scoreboard. Beaver built its largest lead of 65 points with only 50 seconds left, and the Lady Lions took down Schuylkill by a final score of 96-31.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver outshot Schuylkill 54-16 in points in the paint and 23-6 on second-chance points. Beaver outrebounded Schuylkill 57-33, racked up 21 more assists (24-3) and scored 33 more points off turnovers (39-6). The bench also contributed 30 points for the day.
After today's win against Schuylkill, the Lady Lions improve to an 11-2 record in the PSUAC standings, also improving to a 17-4 overall record for the regular season. The Lady Lions will host Penn State DuBois in their next game on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Game time is at 6:00 p.m.