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Penn State Altoona women crush Mounties

From Mirror reports

Penn State Altoona women’s basketball used another complete performance on Wednesday night to post a 79-48 victory over nearby Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Mount Aloysius College in the Adler Auxiliary Gym.

The win is Penn State Altoona’s (5-3, 3-1 AMCC) third in a row and fourth in its past five games. The Lady Lions outscored Mount Aloysius 26-8 in points off turnovers, 36-16 in the paint, 17-7 in second chance points, and 19-2 in fastbreaks. Additionally, Penn State Altoona held a 50-35 advantage in rebounds.

“I’m really pleased with our performance tonight. We prepared for the Mount to play zone, and I felt like we executed our offense well,” Penn State Altoona coach Casey Wilt said. “Offensively, we played unselfishly and worked to get the best shot option possible.”

For the second straight game, Penn State Altoona had five players finish with double-digit point totals.

Sydney Snyder, a Northern Bedford graduate, led all scorers with 16 points for Penn State Altoona while finishing with five rebounds. Sarah Huston came off the bench to contribute 15 points, six rebounds, and a game-high four steals.

Kaley Strittmatter, a Penn Cambria graduate, notched her first double-double of the season, grabbing a season-high 12 rebounds while scoring 12 points.

Claysburg-Kimmel graduate Paige Burk scored a season-best 14 points that included a 4-for-4 performance from 3-point range, and she also secured five rebounds and finished with team-highs by dishing out four assists and blocking two shots.

“Syd and Sarah mixed up their looks at the basket and kept the Mount guessing on how to defend them,” Wilt said. “Paige had a great shooting game, shooting 100 percent from behind the arc. Kaley played a phenomenal game, cleaning up on the boards to provide herself with some very nice put-backs.”

Finnley Christine, a Tyrone graduate, added 11 points, grabbed four rebounds, and tied Burk for the team lead in assists with four. Alexis Cannistraci, also a Tyrone graduate, finished with seven points, seven rebounds, and three steals.

“Lex played a physical game and was double-teamed at times. With the Mount focusing so heavily on containing her, she was able to create great opportunities for her teammates,” Wilt said. “Poor Finn got herself in foul trouble early, which put her on the bench and only playing about six minutes in the first half. But she stayed positive, and when the second half started, she made adjustments defensively and found success on the offensive end.”

Mount Aloysius (2-6, 1-2 AMCC) got 12 points from Zoe Harding, while Rachel Robinson finished with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.

“The Mount battled us hard the entire time. Zoe Harding played well, and she gave us trouble,” Wilt said. “We will need to make some defensive adjustments in order to find better success, and we can’t bail people out and put them at the line.”

Leading by one point late in the first quarter, Burk’s 3-pointer at 2:28 put Penn State Altoona ahead by four, 16-12. Just under one minute later, a steal led to a Huston layup that gave the Lady Lions an 18-12 advantage. But Mount Aloysius pulled back to within four, 19-15, by the end of the opening period, helped by Robinson’s layup at the 30-second mark.

Penn State Altoona was able to increase its lead during the second quarter, which it won by a 16-10 margin. Layups from Strittmatter and Christine opened the scoring in the period, and baskets from Cannistraci and Huston — along with two Huston free throws — upped the Lady Lions’ advantage to 29-20 by 2:42. Burk connected from three-point range with 18 seconds remaining in the half to give her team its largest lead to that point, 35-25.

The Lady Lions outscored Mount Aloysius 22-10 during the third quarter to break the game open. A pair of Strittmatter buckets, along with three-pointers from Burk and Snyder, helped Penn State Altoona start the third quarter on a 10-2 run. Another Snyder trey at 3:45 gave the home team a 50-29 lead, and Burk hit from 3-point range with 25 seconds left in the quarter to make it 57-35.

Penn State Altoona scored 22 more points during the fourth quarter, including Snyder’s layup at 4:55 that gave the Lady Lions their largest lead of the evening, 75-39. The home team outscored Mount Aloysius by nine in the game’s final period to prevail by 31.

In addition to the contributions from Penn State Altoona’s starters, the team also got strong minutes from its substitutions, as seven bench players saw action on the night.

“Our bench came in and gave us great minutes,” Wilt said. “They were active on the boards, played strong defense, and ran the floor well. We always challenge our players to do the little things, and I believe our bench players stuck to that task, which contributed big time.”

Next, the Lady Lions will look to finish their four-game AMCC homestand with a perfect 4-0 record on Saturday when Penn State Altoona will host conference foe D’Youville College for a 3 p.m. game in Adler.

“Saturday’s game against D’Youville is going to be a battle,” Wilt said. “We need to quickly switch our focus so that we are ready to go.”

MOUNT ALOYSIUS (48): Robinson 4-9 2-2 10, Hockenos 2-8 0-0 4, Gibbons 1-4 7-7 9, Sammarco 2-7 0-0 6, H. Kitko 0-5 0-0 0, Garner 0-0 0-0 0, E. Kitko 0-4 0-0 0, King 2-3 0-0 4, Walls 1-4 0-0 3, Harding 3-12 4-8 12. Totals — 15-56 13-17 48.

PENN STATE ALTOONA (79): Cannistraci 3-8 0-0 7, Strittmatter 6-13 0-0 12, Burk 5-7 0-0 14, Snyder 5-13 3-4 16, Christine 4-9 2-4 11, Zhang 0-1 0-0 0, Huston 6-12 3-4 15, Sorichetti 0-1 0-0 0, Beadling 0-0 0-0 0, McChessney 0-2 0-0 0, Inman 1-6 0-0 2, Hibbs 1-1 0-0 2. Totals — 31-73 8-12 79.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Mount Aloysius 15 10 10 13 — 48

Penn State Altoona 19 16 22 22 — 79

3-point goals: Mount Aloysius 5-27 (Sammarco 2-5, Harding 2-8, Walls 1-3, Gibbons 0-2, Robinson 0-3, E. Kitko 0-4); Penn State Altoona 9-19 (Burk 4-4, Snyder 3-9, Cannistraci 1-2, Christine 1-2, Huston 0-2). Assists: Mount Aloysius 9 (Gibbons 3); Penn State Altoona 20 (Burk 4, Christine 4). Rebounds: Mount Aloysius 35 (Robinson 6); Penn State Altoona 50 (Strittmatter 12).

Records: Visitors (2-6, 1-2 in AMCC); Penn State Altoona (5-3, 3-1 in AMCC).

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