McKeesport, Pa. – The United States Collegiate Athletic Association released their first coach’s poll of 2019 on Wednesday and the Penn State Greater Allegheny Women’s Basketball Team (7-7, 5-1) held on to their number 19 ranking to start 2019. With their only game coming against PSU-Beaver before the poll was released, PSUGA still has plenty of time as they try to climb the rankings as they move towards the PSUAC playoffs.
Unfortunately for PSUGA that lone game against Beaver when they fell 70-47 giving PSUGA their first Penn State University Athletic Conference loss of the season. PSUGA managed just 14 first half points in their first game back from break, however, they were able to outscore Beaver in the second half 33-32. With PSU-Beaver ranking #3 in the weekly poll, the second half gave PSUGA the confidence that they can compete with one of the top teams in the nation.
After struggling against some tough non-conference opponents to start the season, PSUGA has used lessons from those games to win five of their first six conference games. They have been helped out in large part due to their consistent offensive attack featuring Tina Clybourn (Pittsburgh, PA./Brashear HS), Tearia Hartley (East Stroudsburg, PA./East Stroudsburg North HS), and Jayal Ellis (Pittsburgh, PA./Woodland Hills HS).
Each girl brings their own style with Clybourn being efficient from three, Ellis being one of the most consistent shooters on the team, and Hartley working to pass the ball off and get her teammates involved. Having three strong offensive players at her disposal has allowed head coach Chrissy French the opportunity to mix things up on the court.
Ever since cracking the top 20 for the first time ever on December 6th 2018, PSUGA has gone 2-2, including a 2-1 record in conference play, and has averaged 68.8 points per game.
With their game on Saturday with Penn State New Kensington being postponed until January 21st, PSUGA will have to wait until Tuesday January 15th to return to action against PSU-Mont Alto at 6 p.m.