By: Matylda Zamudio
Monaca, Pa.— The Penn State Beaver women's basketball defeated PSUAC rival Mont Alto, 66-62 at home on Wednesday evening, securing a 7-0 conference record thus far.
Two-time PSUAC Player of the Week, sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) topped Beaver's scoring list with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals followed by freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana) with 14 points, five rebounds and four steals.
1st quarter: While Mont Alto opened up the scoring with an early 3-pointer, Beaver turned the tables and forged a 9-0 point run to take a 6-point lead at 5:36, causing Mont Alto to call a time-out. But Mont Alto then retaliated and cut Beaver's lead to only 2 points two minutes later (9-8). But Keener then answered back with a layup 30 seconds later to build the lead up to 3 points. As the first quarter wrapped, Beaver led 13-9.
2nd quarter: Thomas got hot early in the second, scoring 5-straight points for Beaver in less than a minute (18-9). Keener followed up with a 3-point jumper to give Beaver a double-digit lead (21-9). Beaver led by 15 at halftime (37-22). For the remaining minutes of the second quarter, the defense took over and forced a total of eight turnovers by Mont Alto, allowing Beaver to take a 14-point lead before halftime (37-22).
3rd quarter: The defense flexed its muscle once again, holding Mont Alto to only 15 points in the third, which prompted the offense to earn 24 points, including building its largest lead of 26 points at 2:12. Beaver led 61-37 heading into the fourth.
4th quarter: Despite Beaver's dominant play in the previous two quarters, the Lady Lions struggled with scoring in the fourth, allowing Mont Alto to make a comeback and cut the deficit to single digits. However, Beaver hung on and took down Mont Alto with a final score of 66-62.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver built its largest lead of 26 points at 2:12 in the third quarter. Beaver outscored Mont Alto 26-14 in the paint and 26-13 on points off turnovers.
After today's win against Mont Alto, the Lady Lions improve to a 7-0 record in the PSUAC standings, also improving to a 13-2 overall record for the regular season. The Lady Lions are on the road in their next game against conference rival Penn State Lehigh Valley on Friday, Jan. 25. Game time is at 6:00 p.m.