Newport News, Va. - Penn State Harrisburg held a first half lead over the #12 ranked Christopher Newport in Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Basketball Saturday February 15th. Unfortunately as the game moved on, the Captains would eventually win their 20th game of the season 72-51.
The Lions have had their fair share of tough games this season, but the nationally ranked Christopher Newport Captains are arguably the best team they have seen all season. On paper, Harrisburg should have been ready to go down early and fight to just keep things close. The young Lion squad refused to let expectations determine this game from the start. They instead started out on a 5-0 run and continued to play tight as a Jasmine Yanich (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) layup with 9:53 to go in the half put the Blue and White up 14-13.
As much as Harrisburg would have loved for the story book start to have continued, the Captains team play and athletic ability were just a bit too much for the Lions to keep up with the entire 40 minutes. As the first half would down, Newport used a 21-9 run in the final six minutes to take a 41-29 point lead going into halftime.
Kaitlyn Carmo (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) hit a quick three pointer to start the second half just like she had the first. Her score along with free throws from Rachel Moyer (Carlisle, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) and Lucky Snypse (Philadelphia, Pa. / George Washington Carver) helped keep the Lions within contention. As the second half got going, so did Harrisburg. They stayed within a ten point or less deficit for most of the final half. It wasn't until the final few minutes that one of the top teams in the country was able to gain any breathing room. The game the home team had thought would be given to them, instead forced Newport to play all 40 minutes at their highest level.
Harrisburg had big nights from a multitude of players including Kiara Carter (Bronx, N.Y. / Milton Hershey) who was the big scorer on the night with 15 points. She also had 13 rebounds, 5 steals, and a block to add another double-double to her impressive season stats so far this year. Snypse led the team in rebounding with 14 while Carmo was the other Lion to score in double digits with 12 points. Carmo and Rebecca Bailey (Tobyhanna, Pa. / Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg) shared the assist leader title, each providing four.
Despite another strong team performance, Harrisburg is taking their fair share of licks in their first CAC season where teams like Newport are used to dishing out. The Lions have two games left of their 2013-2014 season. They will face Wesley College next Wednesday on the road, before heading back home for their final contest against Mary Washington at the Capital Union Building February 22nd for a 1:00 tip-off.