February 14, 2012
UNIONTOWN, Pa. - Penn State Fayette earned themselves control of their Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference playoff seeding with a 79-62 win over Western Divsion foe no. 14 Penn State DuBois on Tuesday night in the Community Center Main Arena. A win against Penn State Scranton on Saturday clinches the no. 1 seed and a first round bye for Fayette in the playoffs, set to begin Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The game featured only two lead changes and five ties as the Roaring Lions (12-10, 11-2 PSUAC) won their fourth consecutive game, and recorded their second triumph over a ranked opponent during that streak. Fayette also beat no. 13 Penn State Beaver 73-52 on Feb. 4.
Sophomore Jill Guthrie (Uniontown, Pa.) scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Roaring Lions, while junior Kasey Ruble (Fairchance, Pa.) collected 18 points and a career-high 14 rebounds on the night. Each dished out three assists. Joining Guthrie and Ruble in double figures were freshman Caitlin Wontroba (Uniontown, Pa.) and junior Kaitlyn Novak (Bobtown, Pa.), who chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Fayette jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead but DuBois (16-6, 11-3 PSUAC) answered with a barrage of early field goals to lead 14-5 with 15:09 to play in the first half. But DuBois went cold, finishing the first half 3-for-16 from behind the arc, and the Roaring Lions used a 9-0 run to tie the score 14-14 with 10:51 left in the half. The teams traded baskets through a 19-19 tie, but the Roaring Lions held DuBois to just four points over the final eight minutes of the first half, and took a 30-23 lead into the break.
The teams traded runs early in the second half, but Fayette began to pull away with an 18-3 run beginning at the 13:07 mark of the second half to lead 58-38. DuBois would cut the deficit to nine on three separate occasions, but would not come any closer as Guthrie and her teammates exploded for 49 second half points. Fayette's second half surge included 20-for-25 shooting from the free throw line. Fayette finished with 26 made free throws in a game that featured 61 trips to the line between the teams.
Despite struggling from behind the three-point line--the Roaring Lions made only 3 of their 12 attempts--Fayette outshot DuBois 37 to 26 percent on the night. DuBois outrebounded the Roaring Lions 51-50, but it was not enough to overcome a poor shooting night by the Lady Lions, who finished just 18-for-68 from the field. Fayette was 25-for-67 from the floor.
Fayette turned 18 DuBois turnovers into 25 points, and dominated in the paint with 30 points in the lane and 19 second-chance points.
Tessa Vargas used five three-pointers to lead DuBois with 19 points and Kelsey Rini added 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Lady Lions.
Fayette will meet PSUAC Eastern Division foe Scranton on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1:00 p.m. in the Community Center Main Arena. A win gives Fayette a bye and automatically advances the Roaring Lions to the PSUAC Semifinals at Penn State Mont Alto on Feb. 24. A loss creates a four-way tie for the number one seed, with tiebreakers to determine the final seedings.