Middletown Pa - The Lady Lions showed true character and put forth a solid team effort on their way to defeating the SUNY IT Wildcats 87-68 Saturday afternoon. The game was filled with intensity; fouls, scoring, and a great rivalry match due to the Wildcats win the previous year which gave Harrisburg their only conference loss when they went 17-1.
The game started out with multiple lead changes and a 12-12 score at the 12:23 mark in the first half. Amanda Moyer (Carlisle, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) started the scoring off with what was her only 3 pointer of the night on way to a strong performance and double-double made up of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Just as the 10 minute mark hit, SUNY was ahead by four. The lions responded with a 2 minute, 9-0 run which gave them a five point lead of 24-19 with 7:35 to go in the half. The game momentum slowed down at this point as both teams ended up in the bonus early and more than a few girls spent time on the charity stripe. The lions finished with 28 fouls to SUNY's 24.
Hannah Jorich (Middletown, PA/ Middletown Area) showed why the Middletown native fits right at home here at Penn State Harrisburg. She played full speed all night as she hit the floor, drove the lane, and fought for every loose ball around her making many of her large cheering section proud.
Both teams went back into the recently renovated locker rooms (today marked the grand opening of the renovated CUB building) ready to start the second half, just as the first was finishing with a score of 38-34 in the lions favor.
Harrisburg's always entertaining announcer Jason Noll, must have had a premonition of what was to come when he passed out the infamous orange 3 point signs to all the Harrisburg fans at halftime.
Miranda Zeanchock (Carrolltown, Pa. / Cambria Heights) started the second half by first draining a deep three and hitting a jumper doing her part of an 8-0 run that would give the lions an 11 point lead just 3 minutes into the second. Zeanchock also scored her season high with 25 points on the night that included 5 three pointers. 4 of them were in the second half, which gave the fans plenty of chances to parade their signs.
If there was not a scoreboard, you would have thought the game was the final shot of a one point game every possession based on the intensity on both the court and the sidelines.
The Harrisburg bench provided plenty of spark to keep the lion's lead comfortable through the second half. Kiara Carter (Bronx, N.Y. / Milton Hershey) was a presence in the paint and added 9 points, Lindsey Haldeman (Grantville, Pa. / Hershey Christian) was able to shut down last year's conference MVP for an impressive defensive stint in the second half, and Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) returned for the first time since her foot injury providing quality minutes at the guard position.
The lions played at a high level the entire night and a multitude of players brought quality individual performances that combined with a team "passing game"( which could be heard from coach Patrick most of the game) and an awesome win.
Despite the many fouls and intensity of both teams, the game finished without any technical or intentional fouls, although the SUNY IT head coach did get a stern warning from the ref that her sideline chatter was done for the night late in the game. Both teams shook hands and headed to the locker with their heads held high deserving a pat on the back for providing an exciting and entertaining game for all.
The final score ended at 87-68 and the lions move to 4-0 in conference action. They get one day off before traveling to Wilkes University Monday night for their final non-conference game of the season.
Click below for post game comments from Coach Patrick, Hannah Jorich, and Amanda Moyer