Middletown, Pa – The Blue and White women's basketball team played host to the St. Mary's Seahawks on Saturday December 7th. With Penn State Harrisburg now competing in the Capital Athletic Conference, every game seems to have an extra sense of excitement and count just a little more than last season.
Today was no different as both teams were eager to get off to a good start as both were playing for their first conference win of the season. Harrisburg got the first bucket thanks to a Rebecca Bailey (Tobyhanna, Pa. / Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg) layup, but the Seahawks responded quickly back with a three pointer which set the tone for the back and forth match up that was in store. Sophomore Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa / Susquehanna) made a jump shot with 11:41 remaining in the half to tie the score at 13. The Lions started to heat up and were one fire over the next four minutes; they hit 3-three pointers as part of a 14-4 run to give them a ten point lead. Ana Edmonson (Lancaster, Pa. / J.P. McCaskey) was quite the spark of the bench today; she scored six of the 14 points during this run, and finished the day with fourteen of her own.
St. Mary's regained their composure and was able to cut the deficit by halftime; they went into the locker room down 33-29. The Seahawks had not seen a lead since the 12th minute of the first half, but five minutes into the second had worked themselves back into the game. St. Mary's Shana Lewis scored two of her twelve on the night as they took the lead 37-36 with 15:09 to go. The game remained within a bucket until Harrisburg used a 6-0 run that again started with Edmonson. She scored a layup with 10:10 and ended with her second good free throw at 8:51 to go ahead 44-39.
The Seahawks answered right back with five straight to tie the game 44-44 with 6:42 to play. It was extremely tight all the way through to the finish. When St. Mary's tied their largest lead of the night up five with a minute to play, Harrisburg answered back immediately with a Yanich layup and Molly Burke (Dunmore, Pa. / Dunmore) clutch three pointer tying the game at sixty with 27 seconds to play.
The Seahawks thought they had things wrapped up when they went up two with only 11 seconds remaining. Thankfully, Bailey only needed six seconds to score the bucket she hoped would put Harrisburg in their second overtime in three games. Unfortunately, St. Mary's leading scorer Sophie Pruden had different ideas. Her buzzer beating layup from a long pass got off just in time for the exciting comeback win.
Coach Patrick was happy with the game despite the tough finish. "We had a very young team on the court for most of the day, and those players played with great effort and confidence, but a few too many immature decisions down the stretch lost us the opportunity to win the game. This team is really learning and growing and I'm confident that their desire to improve will produce positive results as we move forward."
Freshman guard Kaitlyn Carmo (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) continues to prove she is through the learning curve of college ball and ready to shine. She led team in scoring and assist with 17 points and 4 assists. Penn State Harrisburg will not have any easy road this season with the new CAC conference schedule. The Lions get a few days to regroup before hosting Frostburg State Wednesday December 11th.