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Lady Lions Notch First Win, Defeating Franciscan 64-58
1/17/2013 — ALTOONA, Pa. - The Penn State Altoona women's basketball team posted its first win of the 2012-2013 season on Thursday night, a 64-58 victory against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Franciscan University in the Adler Gym.
The Lady Lions received several strong offensive efforts.
Tamara Thomas (Altoona, PA/Altoona) had a superb outing, leading all players with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks. Her point total was the second-best mark of her four-year career with the Lady Lions, and it was the most points she has scored in a game since February 11, 2009. Thomas benefitted from a strong performance at the charity stripe, going 10-for-10 in free throws.
Alidia Strouse (State College, PA/State College) also recorded a double-double, her second of the season. She scored 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds, adding a game-high six assists.
Kylie O'Toole (Pittsburgh, PA/Penn Trafford) scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and tallied three assists.
Those three players combined to help Penn State Altoona get off to a good start early in the first half against Franciscan. Thomas opened the game's scoring with a layup. O'Toole followed with a layup of her own, and Strouse hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Lions a 7-0 lead by the 17:36 mark.
A jumper by Kelsey Heller (Claysburg, PA/Chestnut Ridge/Chugiak) at 12:01 extended her team's lead to 17-6.
The Lady Barons mounted an 8-1 run to get back in the game before halftime. A pair of Helen Raines free throws at 8:27 brought Penn State Altoona's lead down to 18-14.
Hannah Flanagan's three-pointer with three seconds before the intermission narrowed the score to 26-24.
Lacey Huck made a layup 10 seconds into the second half to tie the game.
But the Lady Lions responded with a 13-2 run to reclaim the lead and add some breating room. Two jumpers and a trey by O'Toole made it a seven point game by 16:24. After scores from Strouse and Allyson Hoffman (Camp Hill, PA/Camp Hill), Thomas drained a pair of foul shots to put her team up 39-28 at 14:14.
Franciscan continued to hang around, though, whittling Penn State Altoona's lead to 43-39 at 10:19 on Huck's fastbreak layup.
Just under three minutes later, Allyson Cooney scored to bring the Lady Barons to within two points, 45-43.
But Penn State Altoona answered once again, turning a two point lead into a 10 point advantage. The 8-0 run was capped by Thomas' layup at 5:03, which made the game 53-43.
Two free throws by Strouse at 1:09 gave the Lady Lions their largest lead of the game, 63-50.
Franciscan used the full court press to get back to within six points of Penn State Altoona's lead during the final minute of play, but the Lady Lions held on to seize their first win of the year.
Photo (by Caroline Dudley): Penn State Altoona senior forward Tamara Thomas shoots a free throw during the Lady Lions' win over Franciscan University on Thursday night in the Adler Gym.