BUFFALO, N.Y. – A balanced effort on Saturday helped the Penn State Altoona women's basketball team reel off its fifth win in a row, as the Lady Lions secured an 89-67 victory over Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Medaille College in the Sullivan Center.
In its first game since December 14, Penn State Altoona (7-3, 5-1 AMCC) had five different players finish with double-digit point totals, and the Lady Lions shot 50.9 percent from the field as a team. Their total of 11 three-pointers made is tied for the fifth-most threes made in a single game in Lady Lions history, and they also achieved the ninth-best three-point percentage (47.8) and free throw percentage (88.0) in a game in program history.
Defensively, Penn State Altoona totaled 12 steals, forced 17 turnovers, and limited Medaille (0-12, 0-7 AMCC) to a 34.9 percent field goal percentage.
"This was a good win on the road. Medaille is always tough to battle. They never quit," said Penn State Altoona head coach Casey Wilt. "We certainly have some parts that need to be cleaned up moving forward. You can tell we've been off for a period of time."
Finnley Christine (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) led all scorers and tied her season-high with 21 points for Penn State Altoona while also finishing with six rebounds and a team-high five assists. She made 11 free throws, tying for the tenth-most free throws made in a game in team history.
Sydney Snyder (New Enterprise, PA/Northern Bedford) scored a season-high 20 points, tied for the game-high with three steals, and chipped in four rebounds and two assists. Snyder shot 6-for-9 from three-point range to tie for the third-most three-pointers made in a single game in program history, and she also tied for the third-best three-point field goal percentage in a game in team history.
Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) had 12 points, six rebounds, and two steals, and Paige Burk (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) also totaled 12 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists, and a game-high two blocks.
Sarah Huston (Coatesville, PA/Coatesville) came off the bench to provide 12 points and three steals. Kaley Strittmatter (Williamsburg, PA/Penn Cambria) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while recording seven points, two assists, and two steals.
"Syd had an impressive game. The kid can shoot. I loved her behind-the-back pass to Kay in transition," said Wilt. "Paige had a very solid game. A lot of teams will play tight on her because of her ability to knock down the long ball. Today, she beat them off the dribble."
Katherine Willett led Medaille in scoring with 18 points, while Amanda Arnold and Erin Hardick tallied 15 points apiece for the Lady Mavericks. Morgan Kennedy secured a game-high 11 rebounds, but was limited to seven points.
"Morgan Kennedy is tough to play against. She's physical and very skilled," said Wilt. "It was a total team effort to hold her to seven points. What we worked on in practice was well executed."
Penn State Altoona started the game on a 9-1 run, including a pair of baskets from Burk to open the scoring. Snyder's three-pointer at 6:05 gave the Lady Lions a 12-4 advantage, and back-to-back layups from Christine and Cannistraci made it 18-5 by the 3:40 mark. Jump shots late in the period by Alyssa Hibbs (Richfield, PA/East Juniata) and Christine helped Penn State Altoona to a 24-13 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Two free throws and a layup from Huston accounted for the first points of the second quarter, and Christine followed with a three-pointer at 8:14 to make it 31-13. Another trey by Snyder at 5:09 increased her team's lead to 36-17, and Kassidy Sorichetti's (Halifax, PA/Halifax) three-pointer at 2:17 made it 39-23. Cannistraci added a free throw to her team's point total, and the Lady Lions went into halftime up 40-26.
Snyder connected from three-point range again at 8:16 of the third quarter to score her team's first points of the half, and after Burk's jumper and two buckets from Strittmatter, Penn State Altoona secured a 20-point advantage, 49-29, by 5:08. During the remainder of the third quarter, Snyder connected on two more three-pointers and sank a pair of foul shots, while Huston's three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the period made it 60-41.
Penn State Altoona put up a game-high 29 points during the fourth quarter, during which the Lady Lions went 7-for-10 from the field and 13-for-15 from the free throw line. Early baskets from Cannistraci and Burk helped tack on nine more points to Penn State Altoona's total, giving the visitors a 69-49 lead by 7:08. Christine hit from beyond the arc at 3:34, and Huston converted a three-point play at 3:08 to make it 75-60.
Over the final 2:42 of the game, Burk hit a jump shot while Christine, Cannistraci, and Strittmatter combined to make 12 free throws.
Penn State Altoona finished the day with statistical edges over Medaille in rebounds (34-26), assists (15-14), fastbreak points (4-0), and bench points (17-1).
The Lady Lions will look to extend their winning streak in their next game, as Penn State Altoona will travel to Hamburg, N.Y. to face AMCC opponent Hilbert College on Wednesday, January 8 at 3:00 p.m.