Despite defeat, Grimme enjoys game at BJC

By Thomas Schlarp

For the Mirror

UNIVERSITY PARK — It may not have been the storybook ending that she had pictured, but Manhattan senior and Altoona graduate Kayla Grimme lived a childhood dream Sunday afternoon in the Jaspers’ 78-46 loss to the Lady Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center.

“It was really special,” Grimme said. “I’m really just grateful for the opportunity. I grew up coming to these games and watching the big show that Penn State always puts on. It was really exciting to finally be able to be a part of it.”

Things got off to a rocky start for Grimme and her Manhattan teammates as Penn State jumped out to an early 13-2 lead. Looking to respond, the senior center who entered the game averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game hoisted her second three point attempt of the game that rattled off the front rim to no avail.

Grimme fouled shortly later on a rebound attempt and then made too much contact with Penn State’s Alisia Smith as the freshman made the shot anyways and the ensuing free throw to push the Lady Lions ahead 20-6.

With Grimme recording her second foul just 6:30 into the game, the Altoona native was forced to find a spot on the bench.

“That’s never an easy thing to deal with, especially when I’m used to being able to being in there and contributing to my team,” Grimme said. “Foul trouble was definitely a big factor for me today.”

As Manhattan’s star watched the game from the bench for the entire second quarter, Penn State tightened its grip on the game. Highlighted by a four-point play from Jaida Travascio-Green, the Lady Lions hit five of six shots including a three from three different players. The hot streak coincided with a dry spell for the Jasper offense in which Manhattan went scoreless for over three minutes, allowing Penn State to push the score to 40-24 heading to the locker room at the half.

A fresh half brought a fresh Grimme. She recorded her first offensive statistic in the third quarter with an assist to Gabby Cajou on a deep three.

Minutes later Grimme received the ball from teammate Amani Tatum, dropped her head, and finished a layup in a sea of Lady Lion defenders to score her first basket in the arena that she grew up in cheering for players that she aspired to be like.

“In the beginning I think I was maybe focusing too much on being a little nervous and in the moment,” Grimme said. “I really just tried to forget about everything. By that point in time I just tried to remember this is like any other game.”

Just like that the monkey was off Grimme’s back, and a minute later the Jasper from Altoona sunk her second basket of the day.

Grimme grabbed two rebounds in the fourth as well as added a pair of baskets to her total before fouling out late in the game to finish the game with eight points, three rebounds and an assist.

More important than the numbers that one of the most accomplished players in the history of Manhattan women’s basketball recorded was the chance to play in front of over 15 friends and family and to show her city slicker teammates just what her hometown is all about.

“I always talk about Altoona,” Grimme said. “It’s a little different than New York and Manhattan. (My teammates) have heard a lot about it, and it was really nice last night, I brought the whole team to my house, and we all had dinner. It was a very nice experience, and it was nice to let everyone see where I come from.”

MANHATTAN (46): Guiton 3-7 0-0 6, Grimme 4-10 0-2 8, Taitt 1-5 0-0 2, Williams 4-9 0-0 10, Tatum 0-3 0-0 0, Cajou 3-13 0-0 7, O’Reilly 0-1 0-0 0, Bedeker 0-0 0-0 0, Makela 1-3 0-0 3, Hoier 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan 0-1 0-0 0, Pendergrass 0-0 0-0 0, Warley 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 2-3 3-7 7, Irizarry 1-3 0-0 3. Totals: 19-59 3-9 46.

PENN STATE (78): Williams 5-8 2-3 12, Carter 6-9 2-2 16, Frazier 4-6 5-6 13, Page 1-5 5-6 7, Travascio-Green 3-9 5-5 13, Smith 1-2 1-1 3, McDaniel 5-8 2-2 14, Knizner 0-0 0-0 0, Breen 0-3 0-0 0, McMurtry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-51 22-25 78.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Manhattan 11 13 13 9 — 46

Penn State 26 14 22 16 — 78

3-point field goals: Manhattan 5-20 (Guiton 0-1, Grimme 0-3, Williams 2-4, Tatum 0-2, Cajou 1-4, O’Reilly 0-1, Makela 1-2, Irizarry 1-3). PSU 6-12 (Carter 2-2, Travascio-Green 2-7, McDaniel 2-3). Rebounds: Manhattan 37 (Williams 8). PSU 33 (2 tied with 6). Assists: Manhattan 12 (Tatum 5). PSU 12 (Page 5). Technical fouls: None. Attendance: 3,021.

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