By: Matylda Zamudio
BUFFALO, N.Y.—The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team lost in the season opener to Villa Maria College on Sunday, 80-76.
Junior guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) led the teaming in scoring with 20 points and finished with four boards, three assists and two steals, followed by sophomore guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who finished with 16 points, five boards, two assists and two steals.
Sophomore forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview), who finished with a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds as well as five steals.
Sophomore forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson/Lakeview) matched Chambers in scoring with 14 points and five steals.
1st quarter: The teams were neck-to-neck in the opening minutes of the first and with the game tied the game at 12-12 midway through the quarter, Villa Maria made a 7-0 run against the Lady Lions before Beaver called a time-out (19-12). Then, Thomas hit a layup right after the break, but Beaver went on to trail Villa Maria 25-17 at the end of the first.
2nd quarter: Villa Maria took a double-digit lead over Beaver after hitting back-to-back jumpers one minute into the second l, but four straight free-throws by Womer within the next two minutes cut the deficit to only 6 points (29-23). However, Villa Maria didn't let the Lady Lions take the lead away, keeping them within two-scores for the remaining minutes of the second and then led by 9 points over Beaver at halftime (43-32).
3rd quarter: Beaver performed better in the third, outscoring Villa Maria 17-15 in the quarter but ended the third down by 9 points (58-49).
4th quarter: The Lady Lions got within striking distance of Villa Nova, with Cross hitting a layup to cut Villa Maria's lead to only 5 points at the six-minute mark of the fourth (62-57). Down the stretch with only four seconds to go, Thomas hit two shots from behind the charity stripe to make it a two-possession game at 80-76, but there wasn't enough time for the Lady Lions to get over the four-point hump and fell by a final score of 80-76.
The Lady Lions will be on the road for their first PSUAC matchup against Penn State New Kensington on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The game is slated for 6 p.m.