STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan women's basketball team rebounded from a tough first quarter but couldn't catch Penn State Behrend as the Lady Barons were tripped up by the Lions and fell, 79-47, Saturday afternoon.
The Lions scored the first point of the game off a free throw just 15 seconds into the contest to take a 1-0 lead, but neither team scored another bucket for the next four minutes. PSB finally got the ball to fall as Fontaine Glenn fought through traffic for a layup and hit the ensuing free throw after getting fouled to give PSB a 3-0 lead with 5:30 to play. The Lions used the momentum swing to continue a 15-0 run and led 15-0 with 3:11 to play in the opening quarter.
Sophomore Raegan Stead halted the Lions run as she went 2-for-2 in her first trip to the free throw line and got the Lady Barons on the board with 2:42 showing on the clock. Freshman Abby Baierl cut the lead back down to 11 as she went 2-for-2 from the line but Katie Chess answered for Penn State Behrend with a layup and pushed the lead back to 17-4 with1:27 to play in the first. Stead and freshman Kaitlyn Sonneberger each hit a free throw before Rachel Razzano hit a three to give the Lions a 20-6 lead. Freshman Cianna Vaughan closed out the opening quarter's scoring with a jumper off a pass from Bairel and the two teams went into the first break with the score 20-8 in favor of Penn State Behrend.
The two teams were more evenly matched in the second quarter as the Lions out-scored the Lady Barons 16-12, but the hole was too great for FUS and the Lady Barons went into the locker room trailing 36-20.
Penn State Behrend scored the first six points of the second half to build a 42-40 lead with 7:38 to play in the quarter. The Lions led by as many as 27 points in the third as Chess knocked down a jumped with 3:26 to play. The Lady Barons didn't stop fighting, and Stead hit a three-pointer to keep FUS within 24 at 56-32 but the Lions seemed to have an answer for each of the Lady Barons shots and closed out the third with a 60-36 lead.
The Lions once again came out of the break on fire as they built a 67-36 lead behind seven-straight points just two minutes into the final quarter. Sonneberger ended the run with a jumper thanks to an under the basket pass from senior Johanna Roach but the Lions answered with a pair of free throws. Stead brought the deficit back under 30 with a long three with 6:42 to play, but once again the Lions seemed to have an answer for all of the Lady Barons shots and kept the lead steady between 27 and 32 points. Glenn completed a layup with 16 seconds left in the game to cap off the scoring 79-47 in favor of the Barons.
"We are learning a lot in these early games in conference," remarked head coach Suzy Delaney. "We have to focus on putting that knowledge into practice, making positive changes each time we take the floor."
Stead led all players with 21 points while senior Bernadette Roach pulled down a team-best eight rebounds and posted a pair of blocks.
"Raegan had a solid game for us and gave us a definite lift off of the in the second half," remarked Coach Delaney. "Anna Ames also made a solid contribution with eight points coming off of the bench."
Franciscan returns to action next Wednesday as the Lady Barons host Penn State Altoona for a 6pm AMCC matchup.