AMCC Women's Basketball Playoff Preview: #6 Penn State-Altoona vs. #3 D'Youville

AMCC Women's Basketball Playoff Preview: #6 Penn State-Altoona vs. #3 D'Youville

Who: #6 Penn State-Altoona Lions (12-8) at #3 D'Youville Spartans (15-5) 

What: AMCC Playoffs - First Round

Where: Buffalo, NY / College Center Gym

When: Tuesday, February 25 - 7:00pm

Links: Live Stats / Video


Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville women's basketball team clinched the 3 seed in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs on Saturday afternoon with their victory over Mount Aloysius. D'Youville will host the 6 seeded Penn State-Altoona Lions on Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00pm in the College Center Gym.

The Spartans closed out the season with a 15-5 conference record and a 17-8 overall record in the 2019-20 season. D'Youville will head into the playoffs red-hot, winners of their last five games. Throughout the entire season, the women have three separate winning streaks of three or more with never more than two consecutive losses.

A youthful roster has led the Spartans throughout the season as their top six point/game scorers are either freshmen or sophomores. The dynamic guard duo of freshman Sara Pfeiffer (Olean, NY/Olean) and sophomore Danielle Hore (Orchard Park, NY/Orchard Park) have been the top options for the women, leading the team in nearly every statistical category.

Pfeiffer leads the team with 19.4 points/game since joining the team in early January. She has posted games of 34, 26, and 31 while scoring 18 points or more in her first 10 games as a Spartan – including a game where she set the program record for made threes in a game with 10.

As for Hore - the reigning AMCC Newcomer of the Year and AMCC Second Team All-Conference selection - she leads the team with 9.2 rebounds/game and 4.5 assists/game. She ranks second on the team with 14.6 points/game and has a team-high six double-doubles and one triple-double.

Fellow freshmen Haley Kirisits (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster), Elizabeth Bradley (Lockport, NY/Starpoint), and Sarah Wittek (Elma, NY/Iroquois) have all been regulars in the starting lineup as of late while Brigid McKeone (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) has been a strong contributor. Pfeiffer, Hore, Kirisits, Bradley, and Wittek have started the last six games for the women, including every game in the month of February where the team is 5-1. 

A quality rotation of talent has helped propel the Spartans into the third seed in the playoffs. Sophomore Riley Riedel (Marilla, NY/Iroquois), junior Sydney Alton (Hannibal, NY/Hannibal), sophomore Emmalea Erlandson (West Valley, NY/Ellicottville), and graduate transfer Becca Krenzer (Pavilion, NY/Batavia-Notre Dame) have each started games and been big contributors at different parts of the season.

Altoona finished the season with a 12-8 record in the AMCC while finishing the regular season three games above .500 at 14-11. The Lions are the second highest scoring team in conference play this season, led by Alexis Cannistraci with 17.1 points/game – second in the conference amongst qualified players. 

With a 2-3 record in the final five games of the season, the Lions enter the postseason looking to get hot at the right time. Their best play of the season came in the form of a five-game winning streak early in the season with the team starting off 5-1 in conference play.

In their first meeting this season on December 14, the Lions bested the Spartans in Altoona, PA by the final of 90-63. However, D'Youville exacted revenge over Altoona at home on January 25 with a 62-58 in the College Center Gym. Altoona had four players score in double-figures while D'Youville had Hore, Pfeiffer, and Kirisits scored 19, 18, and 16 respectively. Hore added 14 rebounds while Kirisits grabbed nine.

Tip-off will be at 7:00pm on Tuesday evening in the College Center Gym. The winner will go on to face the second seeded Hilbert Hawks on Friday at La Roche at 8:30pm.