MIDDLETOWN, Pa- Penn State Harrisburg has been on a tremendous tear as of late. Coming into Sunday's game against the visiting Lions from Penn State Abington, the ladies had won five straight contests by an average of 30.6 points per game. While the blue and white didn't quite match that impressive number, they did pick up their sixth consecutive win by a wide margin when they downed the visitors 68-44 at the Capital Union Building.
The Lions were strong from the get-go and jumped out to 13-1 lead following a pair of free throws by Monet Cunningham (Highspire, PA/Bishop McDevitt) with 15:41 remaining in the first half. That advantage ballooned a minute and a half later when Steph Yetter (Thompsontown, PA/East Juniata) connected from beyond the arc to make the score 22-3.
Penn State Harrisburg's largest lead of the half came after Amanda Moyer (Carlisle, PA/Cumberland Valley) hit two foul shots at the 6:35 mark to push the advantage to 21 points.
But Abington showed some fighting spirit after the break and used an 8-0 run capped off by a Jaclyn Vandiver (Philadelphia, PA/Archbishop Ryan) layup to cut the deficit to a more manageable 12 points with 17:18 to go.
The home team answered back in a big way after that and went on a 9-0 run of its own in which Yetter dropped seven of her game-high 25 points to push her squad's lead to 22. The visitors would never come that close again.
Brittani Guerre's (Tobyhanna, PA/Pocono Mountain West) old fashioned three-point play with 4:29 remaining in regulation gave Penn State Harrisburg its largest lead of the afternoon at 64-39 and put an exclamation point on another strong outing by the Lions.
Leading-scorer Daril Foose (Altoona, PA/Altoona) was sidelined with a sore shoulder but her teammates continued their offensive fireworks in her absence. Along with Yetter's output, Moyer netted 13 on 3-6 shooting from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line. She also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to go with her four steals.
Cunningham added 12 points while Dorothea Dixon (Middletown, PA/Middletown) impressively filled up her stat sheet across all categories with nine points, seven boards, six assists and five steals. Yetter wasn't far behind her as she grabbed ten rebounds, dished out three assists, plucked two steals and had two blocks to go along with her season-high scoring total.
The victory improved the Lions to 11-6 overall and 9-1 in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play. Some more good fortune helped the ladies this weekend as previously undefeated SUNYIT lost its first conference game on Saturday and kept Penn State Harrisburg's chances for hosting the NEAC postseason tournament alive.
The Lions will have a chance to put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the NEAC's South Division competition when they head to Lancaster Bible for another conference matchup on Wednesday, Feb. 1.