By: Matylda Zamudio
UNIONTOWN, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver women's basketball team stormed past rival Penn State Fayette in the USCAA Basketball National Championship Consolation match 90-68 on Tuesday morning.
Junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard), led the way for Beaver with 23 points, four rebounds, seven assists and seven steals for the day followed by PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana), who contributed 20 points, two rebounds, one assist and six steals for the day.
Freshman forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson/Lakeview) had another big performance, putting up 19 points, eight rebounds, one assist and three steals coming off the bench.
1st quarter: The teams went back and forth on scoring for the first three minutes and tied the game at 7-7 until Fayette scored 8 straight points in a minute and a half to put Beaver behind 15-7.
With the score at 17-13 at 2:18, the Lady Lions started to find their rhythm on both sides of the floor after USCAA First Team All-American and two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton) grabbed the defensive rebound and found freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica) to drain a 3-pointer – and the defense holding Fayette to only 2 points – which facilitated a 9-2 run to close the first quarter. Beaver led 22-19.
2nd quarter: In the second, the game stayed close for the first three minutes with Beaver maintaining at least two-score lead over Fayette until the rivals got within 4 points of a comeback (33-29). But Lopez answered back 30 seconds later, hitting back-to-back jumpers to build Beaver's lead back up to 8 points (37-29). Beaver wrapped the first half with a 46-41 advantage at halftime.
3rd quarter: After the break, Beaver came out aggressive with the defense forcing five turnovers by Fayette and helped the Lady Lions make a 15-2 to widen the lead to 18 points in the first five minutes of the third (61-43). But Fayette managed to cut Beaver's lead down to 10 points heading into the fourth quarter (69-59).
4th quarter: The Lady Lions got hot early and played their most dominant quarter of the game after they made a 13-2 run in the first five minutes and pushed ahead of Fayette by 21 points (82-61). With 1:07 to go, the Lady Lions built their largest lead of 22 points after Thomas made a late-game layup and scored the last points of the game. After outscoring Fayette 22-9 in the fourth, Beaver won the game by a final score of 90-68.
Box Score Highlights: The Lady Lions shot 52.2 percent from the field, hitting 37 of 67 shots and 42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-19). Beaver also outshot Fayette 47-6 on points off turnovers, 36-32 on points in the paint and tallied up five more assists in the game (25-20). Finally, Beaver's bench put up 19 points against Fayette's 4 points.
With the 2018-2019 now behind them, the Lady Lions had a great season, placing second in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and finishing with a commonable 23-6 overall record.