NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. – After rebounding from a 15-4 deficit in the first quarter, New Kensington women's basketball claimed its first victory, 52-40, since the team was brought back to campus for the 2018-19 season. It played only half a season, and went 0-8. After dropping the first five games of this campaign, New Kensington is able to improve its record to 1-2 in the PSUAC, and 1-5 overall.
An intense fourth quarter sent New Kensington into winning territory, as it took the lead for the first time at the four-minute mark. With two minutes remaining, New Kensington went on a 12-0 run to ensure the victory.
Mont Alto took control of the first quarter and held New Kensington to only four points. Shooting 7 for 16, Mont Alto continued to put up points, leaving New Kensington behind. Meagan Smith and Kara Newell paved the way for Mont Alto's run, contributing 11 of its 15 points.
With some catching up to do, New Kensington's offense went into full effect in the second quarter, outscoring Mont Alto, 11-9. Kierra Rose (Uniontown, Pa./ Uniontown Area) and Ryleigh Beck (Saegertown, Pa./ Maplewood) were New Kensington's top shooters, producing six and five points, respectively. The scoreboard read 24-15 at the midpoint, still in Mont Alto's favor.
New Kensington again outscored the visitors, 13-9, in the third. New Kensington had three starters producing during this time, including six more points from Beck. She went 2 for 4 from behind the arc, and the team connected on 5 of 15 field goals. Even with the pressure New Kensington threw at its opponent, Mont Alto remained ahead 33-28 heading into the fourth.
The turning point of the game occurred in the last frame, when New Kensington finally managed to pull in front, courtesy of a foul shot from Beck. With the game still tightly-contested down the stretch, Erika Finn (New Kensington, Pa./ Burrell) stepped to the forefront, as New Kensington rose to the occasion and landed its first win.
Three of New Kensington's players hit double digits, as Rose put up a personal high of 15, while Beck and Finn followed with 14 and 11 points. Rose and Finn both grabbed seven rebounds, and Finn totaled three assists. Josalind Dennison (Beaver Falls, Pa./ Beaver Falls) was the leading rebounder, with nine.
For Mont Alto, Smith tallied 10 points to lead the way, while Newell and Jesmine Freet contributed seven apiece.
New Kensington will return to play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. hosting the Carlow Celtics for the second time this season in a nonconference matchup. Mont Alto will return to action on Dec. 3, as it will go head to head with Penn State Lehigh Valley.
Written by Janet Suma