By: Matylda Zamudio
Fayette, Pa.— The Penn State Beaver women's basketball defeated Penn State Fayette 82-74 on Saturday after the defense held the conference rival to only 7 points in the opening quarter, winning its second of back-to-back PSUAC conference this week.
Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week, sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) topped Beaver's scoring list with 22 points, seven assists and three rebounds followed by freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who earned a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, and junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard), who also scored 16 points and nine rebounds for Beaver. Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) also contributed 14, five rebounds and four steals of her own.
1st quarter: A foul by Fayette at 8:37 afforded Chambers scored two free-throw attempts, which opened up Beaver's scoring and fostered an early 9-0 run. The Lady Lions defense played tough, forcing five turnovers by the ladies of Fayette and holding them to only 7 points and 21.4 percent shooting from the field on 3-14, while the offense built up an 18-point lead to end the first (25-7).
2nd quarter: Beaver had a little trouble early in the second, and went scoreless for the first five minutes, which allowed Fayette to cut the lead to only 8 points (25-27). But the Lady Lions quickly turned it around with a 12-0 run of their own, which helped them take a 20-point lead before halftime (39-19).
3rd quarter: Beaver held a double-digit lead over Fayette for the entire quarter, with Thomas scoring 7 straight points for Beaver in six minutes. Beaver led 60-42 heading into the fourth.
4th quarter: At 8:50, Chambers and Cross hit back-to-back jumpers from downtown give the team its largest lead of 24 points at the 8:15 mark. But momentum started to swift to Fayette, who slowly cut down Beaver's lead to only 10 points with 21 seconds remaining. But the Lady Lions hung on and won with a final score of 82-74.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver shot 11.8 percent higher from the field and shot 70 percent from the free-throw line, hitting 14-20 shots, which was 3.3 percent higher than Fayette. Beaver outscored Fayette 44-34 in the paint and 30-26 on points off turnovers. Beaver also racked up four more assists (21-17) and one more board than Fayette (38-37).
After today's win, the Lady Lions improve to a 6-0 record and hold down first place in the PSUAC standings, also improving to a 12-2 overall record for the regular season. Beaver will return to action on Friday, Jan. 18, as the Lady Lions host Penn State Hazleton. Game time is at 5 p.m.