UNIONTOWN, Pa. - Penn State Fayette capitalized on 26 turnovers Saturday as they knocked off Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference Western Division leader no. 13 Penn State Beaver, 73-52, in the Community Center Main Arena. With the win, Fayette clinched a berth in the PSUAC Playoffs set to begin Feb. 20.
Despite several players in foul trouble--five players finished with three or more fouls--the Roaring Lions (9-10, 8-2 PSUAC) used those takeaways to score 20 points, including 16 fast break points. The loss drops Beaver (13-7, 10-3 PSUAC) into a tie with Penn State DuBois (9-2 PSUAC) for first place in the PSUAC West. Fayette sits a half-game behind each, although the Roaring Lions are a game ahead of Beaver in the loss column.
Sophomore Jill Guthrie (Uniontown, Pa.) scored a game-high 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting to lead Fayette. Three other Roaring Lions' players scored in double figures, as freshman Caitlin Wontroba (Uniontown, Pa.) scored 14 points and junior Kasey Ruble (Fairchance, Pa.) added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Jennifer Thomas (Uniontown, Pa.) scored 10 points for Fayette.
But offense was not the story for the Roaring Lions on this day. A strong defensive effort included 19 steals, including five each from Wontroba and junior Kaitlyn Novak (Bobtown, Pa.), and Fayette held Beaver to 27 percent shooting from the field. Beaver made only two three-point field goals on the day, and despite outrebounding the Roaring Lions 54-37, they could manage only 20 points in the paint.
The game saw Fayette trail only once, at 2-0, and had only two ties, at 2-2 and 4-4. But a 9-2 Roaring Lions' run gave Fayette a 13-6 advantage with 14:36 remaining in the first half. Fayette led by as many as 10 throughout the first half, and Beaver could only cut the lead to five on three occasions, but the Roaring Lions fended off any comebacks to lead 36-25 at halftime.
A quick 5-0 spurt to begin the second half brought Beaver within six, but Fayette answered with a 6-0 run of their own to extend the lead to 12. The Lady Lions would never come any closer than 10 in the second half, and Fayette used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to pull away. The Roaring Lions led comfortably the rest of the way, including by as many as 22 with 3:11 remaining.
Amanda Temple scored 23 points to lead Beaver, and Brooke Mulneix pulled down 16 rebounds, but it was not enough to overcome a poor shooting night for the Lady Lions.
Fayette hosts Penn State Greater Allegheny on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Center Main Arena. The game will mark Fayette's inaugural "THINK PINK" night, as the game will be played with a pink and white paneled basketball, other pink apparel, and will include raffles and student giveaways. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Penn State Fayette students, faculty and staff will be admitted free, but are encouraged to make a donation. All proceeds will benefit the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.