McKeesport, Pa. - Bringing the game back to a nail-biter in the fourth quarter, the Penn State Greater Allegheny women's basketball team dropped a Penn State University Athletic Conference battle against Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Saturday afternoon, 68-61.
Junior guard Jess Manfredi (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Serra Catholic) was first on the board for Greater Allegheny with a good three-pointer. Sophomore guard Tori Johnston (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) capped off the scoring drive for the first quarter, 17-4 Wilkes-Barre through the first ten minutes of action.
Freshman forward Tiajuanna Burke (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) laid on points in the paint before T. Johnston dropped a three-pointer to kick-off the new ten minutes of action. Sophomore guard Mandi Johnston (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) put down a free-throw point and a layup as Burke put down four herself, closing the gap to five with five minutes until the break. Burke closed out the first half with four more points, sending the two teams into the break 28-22 Wilkes-Barre.
T. Johnston was hot out-of-the-gate in the third with a good three-pointer before freshman forward Andrea Burroughs (New Rochelle, N.Y./New Rochelle) got on the board with a good layup. Manfredi dropped a jumper before Burke pushed Greater Allegheny into the drivers seat, 31-30 with five until the break.
Wilkes-Barre swelled to 37 before Manfredi broke the silence with another trey and three from the foul line, 41-38 WB. Burke put down a free-throw before junior guard Tra-Esha Carswell (Homestead, Pa./Steel Valley) ended the quarter with a made jumper, Wilkes-Barre still leading 47-41.
Manfredi was fired up to start the fourth with points in the paint. Burroughs and Burke both knocked down layups. Manfredi dropped another layup to bring the game within two. Burke went on to tie the game at 51 before she completed a good free-throw, 52-51 GA. M. Johnston put up a layup and one to tie the game by at 55 with the clock wound down to less than four.
Carswell and M. Johnston both finished jumpers to take a four-point margin before Wilkes-Barre quickly worked their way back to tie at 59 with just over a minute left in regulation. Within 60 seconds, WB inflated five points. Manfredi laid on points in the paint to finish the scoring drive for the Lions, Wilkes-Barre coming out on top, 68-61.
Burke finished the game with yet another double-double, dropping 18 points and 15 rebounds, completing 88.8% (8-of-9) of her shots from the floor. Manfredi bucketed 17 points with 60% (6-of-10) of her shots going in from the floor.
As a team, Greater Allegheny got out-rebounded 40-33, as Wilkes-Barre turned them into 18 points. The Lions added 60% (9-of-15) of their free-throws as they were good for 45.3% (24-of-53) from the floor. The men cashed in for 36 points in the paint, 16 points off turnovers and 13 points off second-chance.
The women (7-11, 3-5 PSUAC) will look to Monday to continue Penn State University Athletic Conference play at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.