Buffalo NY. – Penn State Harrisburg's women's basketball team got the first win of their season Saturday in the consolation matchup of the Betty Abgott Invitational. The Lions found themselves playing the early game after losing their season opener to the eventual Champion and host Buffalo State the previous night.
With the early loss still fresh in the heads, the Lions found themselves up against the Houghton Highlanders. They wasted no time, taking a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes. Harrisburg would get to enjoy the game thanks to the comfortable lead that was built with the help of Jasmine Yanich's (Harrisburg, Pa/ Susquehanna) three point jumper that gave Harrisburg a 14 point lead with 10:44 to go in the first half.
The Blue and White were in control, but kept the pressure on using the deep bench filled with a mix of rookie and veteran players ready to handle whatever role was needed.
In the second half, Harrisburg used their long range shooting for 9 of their first 11 points. While Kiara Carter (Bronx, N.Y. / Milton Hershey) would take care of everything inside the paint. She earned her first double-double by leading the team scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. This helped the Lions secure their first victory over the Highlanders 68-49.
Coach Patrick was excited about the win, but kept things level headed in regards to the intense opening weekend of basketball. "The entire preseason we have been talking about different people stepping up at different times, and that our lineup would reflect who was playing well and would give us the best chance to win. Today was just that! Having multiple reserves (Hannah, Kiara, Jazzy and Molly) come off the bench to compliment Carmo and Copelands consistent play enabled us to outlast and outwork our opponent today. That type of teamwork mentality, others first thought process is going to give us many opportunities to win games this year. We grew up a little bit this weekend, and with a young team, the opportunity to mature and get a victory are two things we hope to see more of in the coming weeks, I'm very proud of these young ladies and happy that their hardworking paid off today with a victory!"
The Lions now get ready to play in front of a home crowd this upcoming Wednesday when they host Messiah College for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.