Buena Vista, Va. - The Penn State Harrisburg women's basketball team spent the past day and half traveling and preparing for the Southern Virginia Knights. They would have to battle the distractions of a long bus trip and overnight stay enough to stay focused for the matchup the following evening.
Harrisburg has not had the same holiday break that the rest of the college students at Penn State have had; practices throughout the break have included game film and occasional two a day sessions. But, the hard work paid off early, especially for Jasmine Yanich (Harrisurg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) who started the game off by hitting two three pointers for the first six points of the game.
Souther Virginia matched the intensity and things remained tight for much of the first half. Yanich was a major reason the Lions kept things tight. She used two more three pointers to tie things up twice at the 11th and 5th minute scoring 12 first half points.
The Lions started the second half down 27-30, but it only took five minutes for Kaitlyn Carmo (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) to score five straight to tie the game, this time at 40 a piece. Then she made it eight straight with another three pointer just a minute later to give the Blue and White the lead 43-42. Carmo's three pointers were what would be the second act of an exciting three act play behind the arc for the Lions. Her next and final three tied things at 48 with 9:05 to play.
In the final minutes, Kiara Carter (Bronx, N.Y. / Milton Hershey) and Rachel Moyer (Carlisle, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) shared the spotlight for an exciting finish. Carter got things started by scoring six straight points for Harrisburg in a less than a minute to put the visitor's up 58-56 with just 3:30 to play. Souther Virginia responded with the next four to take a two point lead with just 1:49 left. Harrisburg had Moyer to thank for the big shot in the end. As the story of the night finished where it started with the lions draining buckets deep. The center's clutch three gave the Lions the lead 61-60 with a 1:39 to hold on for the road win.
The Lion's almost let it slip by missing 3-4 from the line to the finish, but their defensive will was enough to stop the new Capital Athletic Conference foe 62-60. Carmo finished as the high point scorer on the night with 16. Moyer just missed a double-double grabbing nine rebounds to lead the team in addition to her 12 point night that included the game winning shot.
Harrisburg will take the full team effort win and start getting ready to host a dominating Christopher Newport (10-2) for their game on Saturday January 11th. 1:00 tip-off and don't forget to be ready to wear your Orange4Owen t-shirt. First 500 fans will receive a free shirt courtesy of Brenner Family Dealerships.