Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville women's basketball team took on the Penn State-Altoona Lions on Saturday afternoon at the College Center Gym in their first conference game of 2019, losing by the final score of 83-81.
In the first four minutes of play, the Lions went up over the Spartans 13-6 after a solid game on the inside. Jordan Smith (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) would then hit a three nearly two minutes later to make the score 15-9 in favor of Altoona. With 2:41 to go in the quarter, Sydney Alton (Hannibal, NY/Hannibal) capped off a five-point scoring streak to make it a one-point game at 15-14. D'Youville would do a great job of forcing turnovers from Altoona as they closed out the first quarter trailing 19-18.
Kailey Kellner (Coupeville, WA/Coupeville) began the second with a big three for the women to give them the lead. A pair of layups from Danielle Hore (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park) gave the Spartans a 25-21 advantage after 1:20 of play. Forward Darian Evans (Brant, NY/Lake Shore) would begin to take over at both ends of the court. With a block and back-to-back made jumpers, Evans helped put the Spartans up by 12 at 33-21. The Spartans would have a strong effort on both ends of the court to close out the second, leading the Lions 44-32.
Altoona came out in the second half and outscored D'Youville 9-3 in the first three minutes as the deficit was cut to six. Following a made three, the Lions would cut it to a one-basket game for several possessions, but a pair of Monica June (Buffalo, NY/Hutch Tech) free throws would push D'Youville back up by seven at 53-46 with 4:26 to go in the third. The Lions would close the gap to one at 57-56, but a pair of Evans free throws would put the women back up by three. However, a basket from Altoona in the final minute put them down by one yet again, trailing 59-58 after three.
Just over a minute into the fourth, the Lions took the lead on a made layup and made the score 62-61. June converted a big and-one play to put D'Youville ahead by two, but Altoona answered right back to tie the game at 64-64. With under five to go in regulation, the Lions tied it up at 69-69 on a three but Alton answered with an and-one to push the lead to three again.
Still tied at 74-74, Altoona hit a big three to take the lead with 2:14 to go in the game. Evans would go to the line with 0:55 to go in the quarter and tie the game on a free throw, making the score 79-79. A Lion layup gave them the lead by two with 0:39 left on the clock. A foul put Smith at the line with 0:07.6 on the clock and the senior sank them both, tying the game at 81-81. A layup in the final seconds of the game put the Lions ahead by two and ultimately gave them the victory 83-81.
The Spartans had an outstanding first half on both ends of the court. They forced 16 turnovers and outscored the Lions 44-32. In the second half, Altoona turned it up a notch and took better care of the ball to outscore the Spartans 51-27 for the victory.
D'Youville had four players score in double-figures, led by Hore and Smith with 18 each. Hore added seven boards, six assists, and six steals in 33 minutes of action with Smith grabbing seven boards in her first start back from injury.
Evans recorded her second double-double in as many games with 11 points and a team high 11 rebounds. June also scored 11 in the game to go with five rebounds and five assists. Alton chipped in with eight points.
Off the bench, Kellner led the way with seven points while Hanna Wozniak (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) added four. Both Kelsey Carpenter (Hilton, NY/Hilton) and Sara Field (Durhamville, NY/VVS) scored a pair and Alexandria McBride (Elma, NY/Iroquois) grabbing a board.
The next game for the women will come at home as they host the Penn State-Behrend Lions on Wednesday, January 9 at 6:00pm.