PSU Fayette women see win streak end against Carlow
Getting back into the swing of things after a long holiday break can be a difficult task, and that was the challenge the Penn State Fayette women’s basketball team faced in Tuesday’s nonconference home game against Carlow.
The 71-52 loss to Carlow was the first game the Lions had played since Dec. 12 when the Lions beat Penn State Greater Allegheny for their third straight win.
“This is only our third day back, and we’re not in game shape,” Fayette coach Jo Ann Jankoski said.
Jankoski was making her debut as the team’s coach after Vince Capozzi resigned the position during the semester break because of health reasons.
“They beat us at our game, which is fast-breaking, and we didn’t take care of the ball,” she said.
In the early going, the Roaring Lions (4-7), who compete in the PSAC and are a Division II team in the USCAA, hung with Carlow, a USCAA Division I team from the NAIA. Fayette was able to take a 16-14 lead 10 minutes into the game on a basket by Jackie Halapy, who led the Lions with 14 points.
However, the lead was short-lived, and the Celtics (5-4) took over. Carlow went on a 19-0 run over the next seven minutes to take a commanding 33-16 lead.
Baskets by Natalie Alexander (15 points), Megan Kohan (13), Erin DiSanti (11) and Jacqueline Tabor (10) helped fuel Carlow’s run.
Carlow also was active in the passing lanes and forced Fayette into several turnovers, which led to transition baskets at the other end.
“It took us a while to find our rhythm and five (players) that meshed together,” Carlow coach Liz Stieg said. “Fayette would not give up, but we just told (our players) to get out and run, and our defensive intensity picked up, and we got some transition baskets. That was a key to success.”
Ally Rudolph (13 points) scored a pair of 3-pointers before halftime for Fayette to shrink Carlow’s lead to 39-23.
In the second half, the Lions had a chance to close the gap but missed six straight free throws.
“We got tired, and they beat us down the court,” Jankoski said. “Then in the second half, we couldn’t score.”
Hayley Moreland hit four baskets in the second half and finished with 12 points, but the Lions couldn’t rally. Despite the loss, Jankoski likes what she sees from her team going forward.
“I’m excited,” Jankoski said. “These young women have grown, and I see a lot of potential. We’re beginning to jell as a team, and I can’t say enough about the leadership on this team.”
Both teams will return to their conference schedules this month, but nonconference contests such as this one certainly aren’t taken lightly.
“We’re both in the USCAA, so these games are valuable,” Stieg said.
The Lions will continue their nonconference schedule against Point Park on Monday at home.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at email@example.com.