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Altoona Tops Women's Hoops

McKenzie Mathis had 14 points and nine rebounds in the Hornets non-league loss at Penn St.- Altoona Saturday afternoon.
McKenzie Mathis had 14 points and nine rebounds in the Hornets non-league loss at Penn St.- Altoona Saturday afternoon.

ALTOONA, Pa. – Host Penn St. – Altoona parlayed a strong third quarter on its way to a 78-64 non-conference women's basketball victory over Shenandoah University Saturday.

The Lady Lions (4-4) shot 64 percent (7-of-11) from the field in the third while holding Shenandoah (4-5) to 24 percent shooting (5-of-21) in the same span to help key the win in the first-ever women's basketball matchup between the two schools.

The two teams traded the lead four times and were tied on two additional occasions in the opening 10 minutes before PSU-A took the lead for good on a Finnley Christine layup with 26 seconds in the opening stanza.

After seeing the Lions expand their lead out to six points, 24-18, on the strength of a 9-2 run, the Hornets responded with a 9-4 run of their own to cut the deficit to just one by the 5:31 mark of the second.

Senior Kirstyn Arcata, who finished with 14 points, capped that spurt with four consecutive points on a layup in the paint and a pair of free throws.

Unfortunately for the SU faithful, this would be the squad's high-water mark.

Altoona answered by scoring 13 of the game's next 17 points to expand its lead into double digits for the first time.

Ashley Stone and McKenzie Mathis had the final two buckets of the first half to allow SU to cut the deficit to six, 43-37, at the break.

PSU-A started the third on a 6-2 run and pushed its lead out to 11 points before Shenandoah scored seven of the final 10 points of that period. 

The fourth quarter started in the same manner, with the Lions effectively sealing the win by scoring nine of the initial 11 points of the stanza.

SU, with a 9-0 run from the 5:54 to 1:33 marks, cut it to five points, 69-64, but could get no closer.

Altoona closed out the game on a 9-0 run.

Stone led four women in double-digits with 18 points with Arcata and Mathis adding 14 each. Shannon Kuhn rounded out this quartet with 10.

Mathis just missed a double-double with nine boards.

The Hornets are off for the next 12 days for the Christmas break and return to action on December 29 in the first round of the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tennessee. SU plays Notre Dame (Md.) in a noon contest held at Trevecca Nazarene.