By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa.-– The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team earned a second straight win during the home opener against Bethany College on Wednesday night, 58-49.
Junior guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) led the way for Beaver tonight with 18 points, eight steals, two rebounds and two assists, followed by sophomore guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who finished with 15 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists.
1st quarter: The teams played each other tough defensively, only allowing a total of 15 points in the quarter with Beaver trailing by 1 (8-7).
2nd quarter: Beaver took the lead after sophomore forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson Center/Lakeview) hit a layup one minute into the quarter, followed by a steal by sophomore guard Emily Keener (Utica), who hit a layup and plus a free throw after she was fouled (12-8). At the 7th minute, Cross got the ball to senior forward/center Cheyenne Lopez (Roswell/Goddard) for a basket, prompting a 7-point run for the Lady Lions to go up (21-13). However, Bethany College started to pick up steam offensively and scored 14 unanswered points to leave Beaver trailing 27-21 at halftime.
3rd quarter: Bethany College held a three-score lead over Beaver for the first five minutes of the quarter, but the Lady Lions showed grit and got into striking distance of the visitors who fouled and sent Cross to the line, where she drained two back-to-back free-throws after scoring back-to-back layups (36-31). Cross then got the steal directly after and found sophomore guard Emily Keener (Utica) for a 2-point shot to make it a one-possession game (36-33). Beaver didn't take the lead away but kept it close and was only down by 3 heading into the final quarter (41-38).
4th quarter: The Lady Lions were charged up in the fourth. Beaver final took the lead from Bethany College thanks to Thomas, who hit a layup at the 6:10 minute, which Cross followed up with a jumper from downtown on an assist by Lopez to bring the score to (48-43). Down the stretch, a late foul by Bethany College sent Cross to the charity stripe, where she sunk both free-throws and seal the 58-49 victory for the Lady Lions.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver outscored Bethany College 27-16 on points off turnovers and 32-24 on points in the paint. Beaver picked up four more assists and 18 fewer turnovers than Bethany College.
After today's win against Bethany College, the Lady Lions improve to a 2-1 record overall and sit at a 1-0 in the PSUAC standings.
The Lady Lions will be back for more conference action against Penn State Scranton this Friday, Nov. 22. The game starts at 6 p.m.