By: Matylda Zamudio
UNIONTOWN, Pa. — After earning the No.5 spot and a chance to battle in the USCAA Basketball National Championship Quarterfinals, the Penn State Beaver women's basketball team fell to Johnson & Wales on Monday afternoon.
Freshman forward Mikayla Womer (Jackson/Lakeview) topped Beaver's scoring list with 12 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal for the day.
Womer was followed by junior forward Cheyenne Lopez (Center Roswell/Goddard), who earned 9 points, nine rebounds and four steals and USCAA First Team All-American and two-time PSUAC Player of the Week sophomore guard Diamond Thomas (Pittsburgh/Carlynton), who scored 8 points, nine rebounds, three steals and one assist.
1st quarter: The game started off with Johnson & Wales jumping out to a 4-0 lead less than two minutes in, but freshman guard Emily Keener (Utica) kicked the ball out to PSUAC Player of the Week freshman guard Alexis Cross (Columbiana) to sink a 3-point bucket quickly after followed by another 3-point jumper by Lopez at 6:55 for Beaver to take the lead at 6-5. The 3-point hot streak continued with Keener drilling a three of her own to give Beaver a 4-point lead at 4:21 (9-5). But Johnson & Wales fought back and scored 7-straight points to take a one-score lead over Beaver at 12-9. But the defense didn't allow Johnson & Wales to score another point in the quarter, which garnered, and Beaver matched the challenger's previous run with a 7-point run of its own including a clutch 3-pointer by Womer to win back the lead with 1:16 to go (15-12). Beaver took a 5-point advantage over Johnson & Wales to wrap to the first (17-12).
2nd quarter: The teams were neck-to-neck in the second with Beaver staying ahead in the first three and half minutes of the quarter. Down the stretch, Johnson & Wales pulled ahead by 4 points at 2:09, but a Lopez layup followed by a jumper from behind the arc by freshman forward Jimya Chambers (Phoenix/Westview) helped Beaver edge a 1-point lead a minute and half before half time (30-29). But at 1:16, a layup by Johnson & Wales put Beaver down by only 1 point to end the first half (31-30).
3rd quarter: It was anyone's game fresh off the break, but Beaver ran into trouble when Johnson & Wales made an early 12-0 run in the first four minutes (42-30). At 4:00, Womer scored a layup to cut the deficit to a single digit, who was assisted by Cross on the play (43-34). However, the Lady Lions were held to only a single point in the remaining minutes of the third and trailed (53-35) as they headed to the final quarter.
4th quarter: Beaver got focused on defense early in the fourth and didn't allow a single point by Johnson & Wales for over four minutes, which helped the Lady Lions come within 12 points of making a comeback. However, Beaver couldn't get slow down Johnson & Wales' scoring and fell by a final score of 66-46.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver outshot Johnson & Wales 19-12 on second-chance points. Beaver also outrebounded Johnson & Wales 53-46 and earned one more assist in the game (10-9). Lastly, Beaver's bench put up 16 points to Johnson & Wales' 8 points.
After today's match, Beaver is 22-6 overall for the season.
The Lady Lions will be back to face off against Penn State Fayette in the USCAA Basketball National Championship Consolation match on Tuesday, Mar. 5. The game starts at 10 a.m.