Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville women's basketball team lost a tough fought game on Saturday afternoon to the visiting Penn State-Altoona Lions by the final score of 69-66.
D'Youville was led by Darian Evans (Brant, NY/Lake Shore) and Jean-Ann Korona (Washingtonville, NY/Washingtonville) early and throughout the game as the two combined for the team's first six points. Jordan Smith (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) scored the next four points for the Spartans as they took a 10-2 lead over the Lions with 5:14 to go in the first. Altoona closed to within five but Korona and Evans scored on back-to-back jumpers to extend the lead to 19-10. On the next possession, the Lions would make a free throw and the quarter with D'Youville leading 19-11.
Evans continued her strong scoring touch as she scored six of the first nine points of the second for the Spartans. With 4:28 remaining in the half, Korona made history by becoming the most recent Spartan in program history to score her 1,000th point. She then followed that up with another made layup to extend the D'Youville lead to 32-21. The Lions would begin to pick up their scoring as the half drew to a close, outscoring the Spartans 6-3 in the final four minutes and trailed D'Youville 35-29 at halftime.
Altoona came to within three of the D'Youville lead early in the third quarter, but the Spartans were able to rebuild a nine-point lead after a pair of Evans free throws. However the Lions would fight right back once again to close the gap to three and then two with 0:27 left in the third. Luckily Korona made yet another layup with 0:05 on the clock in the quarter to give D'Youville a 53-49 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.
With a made three-pointer to start the fourth, Altoona drew their deficit to one, the closest they had been to the lead since the opening tip. With 6:20 to go in the game, the Lion's comeback was complete as they took a 55-54 lead on another made three. They then went up four before D'Youville came back to tie it at 59-59 with 3:30 left in the game. With the game tied at 61, Altoona pulled away to the tune of a 68-64 advantage. Monica June (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech) scored a layup with 0:04 left on the clock, but it was too late as Penn State would overcome their three-quarter deficit and defeat the Spartans 69-66.
Turning in another strong scoring performance for D'Youville on the day she scored her 1,000th point was Korona who scored 23 points and brought in 12 rebounds. Evans had a historic day of her own; scoring a career high 16 points while Smith grabbed 12 rebounds herself. She, as well as June, scored seven points off the bench each.
Hannah Simone (Rochester, NY/Bishop Kearney) scored five points with a season high nine rebounds. In her third consecutive start, CeDrice Howard (University Place, WA/Curtis) grabbed seven rebounds while Magan Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) had five assists and six steals, leading the team in both categories. Ali Cochrane (New Port Richey, FL/Gulf) added three points and two assists in the game.
The next game for the women comes Wednesday, February 8 as they host the Hilbert Hawks for a Buffalo Cup game. Tip-off is set for 6pm.