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Women’s Basketball Looks to Keep Momentum Against Ave Maria

Women’s Basketball Looks to Keep Momentum Against Ave Maria

McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (1-0, 0-0) looks to continue the momentum from their season opener when they take on National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) opponent Ave Maria (4-0, 0-0) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. It will be the first of a stretch of five games in seven days as the team prepares for Penn State University Athletic Conference play.

PSUGA kicked off their season in style with a 96-47 win over Butler County Community College on Friday. The girls were able to show just what they are capable of offensively finishing just two points shy from setting the single game team record for points in a game with some key upperclassmen standing out.

PSUGA had all the momentum right from the start when Tearia Hartley (East Stroudsburg, Pa./East Stroudsburg North HS) took the opening tip from Lexus Santiago (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) to give PSUGA an early 2-0 lead. They would never lose the lead from that point and cruised to the 96-47 victory.

The success started and ended with the performances of Hartley and Santiago who led the team with 16 points apiece in the win. Hartley led the team with six assists and Santiago added 13 rebounds topping off the girls strong day. In total, 10 of the 12 girls dressed for Friday’s game scored at least two points and PSUGA had four girls finish in double digits with Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, PA./Brashear HS) and Brandy Taylor (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) finishing with 15 and 13 points respectively.

The win moves PSUGA to 1-0 to start the season for the first time since the 2012-2013 season when they defeated Pitt Titusville 75-54 in the team’s opener that season. The win gives the girls a big confidence boost as they head into a tough stretch of competition before the official start of conference play on November 27th. The stretch includes matchups with two United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament Qualifiers and two Division II programs.

It all starts on Wednesday when they take on NAIA opponent Ave Maria, who finished with a 20-9 record last season and an 11-7 record in The Sun Conference. The Gyrenes have brought the fire power this season beating their first four opponents by an average of 39.8 points per game.

Their last time out saw they pick up their fourth straight victory beating University of the Virgin Islands 84-51. The Gyrenes held a 32-25 lead heading into halftime, but busted the game open with a 28-point third quarter that netted them the victory. Ave Maria’s Katie Houbolt had a big day scoring a team leading 19 points as one of five Gyrenes to finish in double digits while teammate Sarah Miller finished with 14 points and a team leading 15 rebounds.

Wednesday will mark the first ever matchup between these two teams as Ave Maria makes the trip from Florida for this first-time matchup. PSUGA head coach Chrissy French has scheduled some tough non-conference opponents for her girls as they get ready to face what is coming in the PSUAC this season.

Tip-off for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. inside the Wunderly Gymnasium with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch the game live at bit.ly/PSUGAYT and follow our social media channels for live updates throughout the game.