NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - The Penn State New Kensington women's basketball team was unable to overcome 49 turnovers on Tuesday, as host New Ken fell to Penn State Beaver 88-46 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference opener. With the setback, New Kensington dropped to 0-4 overall. Meanwhile, Penn State Beaver evened its overall mark at 1-1, winning its first conference tilt.
The Beaver pressure defense created problems for New Ken from the opening tip, as the hosts committed 15 turnovers in the first quarter, and attempted just 10 shots. While Shaylynne Boitnott (Meadville, Pa/Meadville Area) and Deshaya Chavis (Penn Hills, Pa/Penn Hills) each knocked down three-pointers, host New Kensington faced a 25-10 deficit after the first stanza, keyed by Beaver scoring the first 11 points.
The second frame was more competitive, as New Ken cut down on the turnovers, and also found success at the foul line. New Ken converted all eight of its attempts at the stripe, while Erika Finn (New Kensington, Pa/Burrell) scored eight points in the quarter.
Trailing 46-27 at the half, New Ken matched Beaver in the third quarter, with each team scoring a dozen points. Freshman Kierra Rose (Uniontown, Pa/Uniontown Area), who did not play in the first half, provided seven points for New Ken.
While the outcome was still in doubt heading into the fourth with Beaver leading 58-39, the final quarter proved more lopsided than the first quarter. New Ken was unable to handle the press, and committed 16 turnovers in the period. Additionally, while Rose remained hot, scoring seven more points, no other New Ken players scored in the fourth. Conversely, Beaver found a groove offensively, hitting 13 of 25 shots in the quarter.
For the game, New Ken shot well from both three-point distance (60 percent) and the foul line (87 percent). Rose led the offense with 14 points, while Finn contributed 10 points and eight rebounds, which matched Auveonna Perkins (Arnold, Pa/Valley) for a team best. Additionally, Josalind Dennison (Beaver Falls, Pa/Beaver Falls) grabbed seven boards.
In the victory, Beaver was led by Diamond Thomas, who had game-highs of 16 points and 10 steals. Jimya Chambers, Emily Keener and Alexis Cross also scored in double figures, while Cheyenne Lopez contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
Penn State New Kensington returns on action on Friday, hosting Penn State York at 6 p.m., while Penn State Beaver returns home on Wednesday to play Bethany College at 6 p.m.
Written by: Sean Meyers