MIDDLETOWN, Pa- Penn State Harrisburg took part in the R1 Sports Blue Jay Classic over the weekend and went 1-1. The highlight came when the Lions picked up a strong non-conference victory by besting Wilkes 76-70 in a double overtime thriller on Friday, Dec. 9, before ultimately falling to Elizabethtown 76-65 in a hard fought showdown on Sunday, Dec. 11. Thanks to their strong play in both outings, junior Monet Cunningham (Highspire, PA/Bishop McDevitt) and sophomore Brittani Guerre (Tobyhanna, PA/Pocono Mountain West) were named to the all-tournament team.
The ladies' first contest against the Colonels was a display in guts and endurance. The blue and white trailed 62-56 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. But the Lions made a late a run and actually took a 64-62 lead when senior guard Dorothea Dixon (Middletown, PA/Middletown) converted a layup with just seven seconds left on the clock.
But Wilkes had an answer. Megan Kazmerski (Kingston, PA/Holy Redeemer) netted a layup of her own with one second left to tie things up and send the game into overtime.
Both teams scored two baskets apiece in the first OT but neither could separate from their opponent. Five minutes passed and the score remained knotted up at 68 all. A second overtime was needed to settle things.
The Lions fell behind 70-69 two minutes into the second extra session but went on a crucial 7-0 run down the stretch to clinch the victory and pick up their second non-conference win of the season.
Guerre (Tobyhanna, PA/Pocono Mountain West) led the way for Penn State Harrisburg with 18 points. Sophomore forward Amanda Moyer (Carlisle, PA/Cumberland Valley) added 13 points and a team-best 13 rebounds while Cunningham and junior Daril Foose (Altoona, PA/Altoona) pitched in with 12 points apiece. Junior Steph Yetter (Thompsontown, PA/East Juniata) netted 11 points and Dixon dropped ten on Wilkes while dishing out a game-high eight assists.
The Lions continued their strong play against Elizabethtown two days later. The blue and white got out to a 17-11 lead midway through the first half and kept things close well into the second period. But with the game tied at 49 with 10:59 remaining in the game, the Blue Jays went on a decisive 14-1 run that put things out of reach for Penn State Harrisburg.
Cunningham was the high scorer for the Lions with 20 while Guerre and Foose added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Foose also played solid defense and recorded a game-high three blocks. Moyer scored nine points and gathered a team-best six boards.
The .500 weekend improved Penn State Harrisburg to 5-4 on the year (3-0 NEAC) as the 2011 portion of the ladies' schedule has concluded. The Lions' next contest comes on Jan. 3 when they travel to Goucher College for the first game of 2012.