Lions Beat Hawks 65-58 in AMCC Game of the Week
by Christina Roukas
HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Penn State Altoona women's basketball team beat Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Hilbert College on Saturday afternoon by a final score of 65-58.
The win is Penn State Altoona's (7-16, 6-9 AMCC) fifth in its last seven AMCC games, and it greatly helps the team's hopes of securing a spot in the conference postseason tournament.
The first quarter of this week's AMCC Game of the Week was tightly contested between Penn State Altoona and Hilbert (6-17, 5-9 AMCC), until the Hawks took a three-point lead, 13-10, with three minutes left. However, the Lions grabbed the lead back following a Sarah Huston (Coatesville, PA/Coatesville) steal that led to an Ellie Matthews (Kennett Square, PA/Kennett) putback layup, putting the Lions in the lead 14-13. Penn State Altoona took the first quarter by one point, 16-15.
In the second quarter, both teams were off to a slow start, and the score was tied 20-20 nearly halfway through the period. The Hawks finally broke the tie and took a 21-20 lead on a free throw, but Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) got the Lions back in front, 22-21, when she made a layup. After a close first two quarters, the halftime score was 26-25 with Penn State Altoona leading.
The Lions had a strong start to the third quarter with a five-point run, then continued the momentum on offense by increasing their lead to 10 points, 41-31, after a Cannistraci layup and foul shot at 3:26. Hilbert narrowed its deficit, however, and the third quarter closed with Penn State Altoona holding a four-point lead, 45-41.
In the fourth quarter, Hilbert's offense lowered the Hawks' deficit to as little as two points, but Penn State Altoona still held on to the lead. The Lions made six free throws within the final 36 seconds to help stay on top, and after a tight game, Penn State Altoona came out victorious, 65-58.
The Lions' Huston led all players with 24 points, six assists, and four steals. Cannistraci contributed 15 points, five rebounds, and one block. Matthews came off the bench to provide 12 points and seven rebounds.
Emily Munson (New Hartford, CT/Northwestern Regional) had a season-high and game-high 12 rebounds while adding four assists and two points. Emma Kitko (Houtzdale, PA/Moshannon Valley) scored six points, Emily Marines (Nanty Glo, PA/Blacklick Valley) added four points, and Megan Hartman (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) had two points.
Hilbert was led by Ashley Schroeder's 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Macy Kiser finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Penn State Altoona women's basketball team is scheduled to play its next game next Saturday, February 19 on the road against AMCC opponent Penn State Behrend. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m.
Next Saturday's game marks the Lions' final contest of the regular season. The team's postseason fate will be determined following the conclusion of conference regular season play around the league.