GROVE CITY, Pa. – Penn State Altoona women's basketball ventured into non-conference play on Wednesday evening, and the Lady Lions suffered a 100-56 loss at the hands of Presidents' Athletic Conference foe Grove City College in the Grove City Arena.
Penn State Altoona (12-9) struggled to get on track offensively, committing a season-high 29 turnovers, which Grove City (20-2) converted into 44 points. The Lady Lions shot just 20.0 percent from three-point range and 37.7 percent from the floor overall.
"Grove City is a very strong team all-around. They move quickly and execute well on both ends of the floor," said Penn State Altoona head coach Casey Wilt. "Preparing for this game, we discussed that, mentally, we were going to need to remain in the game regardless of what obstacles were thrown our way. We have four conference games left, and we need to focus on executing."
Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) recorded her eighth double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 15 points while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. She also led all players in the game with five blocks, tying for the third-most blocks in a single game in Lady Lions program history, and she tied for the team lead in assists with four.
Kassidy Sorichetti (Halifax, PA/Halifax) contributed nine points and three rebounds off the bench. Sydney Snyder (New Enterprise, PA/Northern Bedford) scored eight points, including connecting on two three-pointers to set a new Penn State Altoona women's basketball single season record with 61 made threes this year.
"Kass came off the bench and gave us a nice spark defensively, and she hit some shots when we needed them," said Wilt.
Grove City got a game-high 26 points from Kate Balcom. Jess Bowen added 19 points, six assists, and five steals for the Wolverines, and Emma Vezzosi scored 16 points off the bench.
Penn State Altoona hung with Grove City for much of the first quarter. Two early baskets from Cannistraci gave the Lady Lions a 4-2 lead, and after the Wolverines went ahead 18-12, Penn State Altoona used baskets by Cannistaci and Huston to trim the home team's advantage to 18-16. But a late 7-0 run by Grove City, including a three-pointer and layup from Bowen, helped the Wolverines to a 25-18 lead by the end of the quarter.
Penn State Altoona was outscored 25-10 during the second quarter, in which the Lady Lions committed 10 turnovers. By halftime, Grove City had constructed a 50-28 lead.
The Lady Lions' issues continued in the third quarter, during which Grove City posted a 28-7 scoring advantage. The Wolverines went on to lead by as many as 45 points during the fourth quarter.
With its last non-conference game of the year now behind it, the Penn State Altoona women's basketball team returns to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play this Saturday, February 15, when the Lady Lions will kick off a very important four-game stretch against league opponents. On Saturday, Penn State Altoona will travel to Erie to play Penn State Behrend in a game tipping off at 4:00 p.m.