By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team had another dominant defensive performance against Penn State New Kensington at home on Thursday night, only allowing single-digit scoring by the visitors in three quarters including outscoring them 32-2 in the first.
PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana) topped Beaver's scoring list with a game-high 23 points, four rebounds, two assists and six steals.
Sophomore guard Julia Sabbio (Rochester) had a notable performance as well, contributing 15 points, four rebounds, six assists and one steal coming off the bench.
1st quarter: In the first, the Lady Lions unleashed their shut-down defense right out of the gate, which allowed them to score 25 unanswered points down to the 4:50 mark. The defensive never let up and forced a hefty 18 turnovers by New Kensington, resulting in the visitors only putting up 2 points in the first. Beaver led 32-2 entering the second.
2nd quarter: New Kensington continued to struggle with turning over the ball and was unable to slow down Beaver's offense, which stacked up another 23 points in the quarter while holding New Kensington to single-digit scoring once again. Beaver took a 47-point lead at halftime (55-8).
3rd quarter: Beaver continued to control the tempo of the game and outscored New Kensington 23-9, holding the visitors to only 13.3 percent shooting from the field on 2-5 attempts. Beaver led 78-17 heading into the final quarter.
4th quarter: Beaver built its largest lead of 68 points with 42 seconds left to go on a layup by freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica). While scoring was closer in the fourth (17-10), the deficit was too much for New Kensington to recover from, and Beaver won by a final score of 95-27.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver shot 31.7 higher than New Kensington from the field and 45.8 percent higher from 3-point range. Beaver also outshot New Kensington 34-8 in points in the paint and 10-4 on second-chance points. Beaver outrebounded New Kensington 41-34, racked up 20 more assists (21-1) and scored 43 more points off turnovers (47-4). The bench also contributed 38 points for the day.
After today's win against New Kensington, the Lady Lions improve to a 12-2 record in the PSUAC standings, also improving to a 19-4 overall record for the regular season. The Lady Lions will be back in action to host Penn State York in their next game on Saturday, Feb. 16. The game is slated for 2:00 p.m.