By Jacob Cain
Middletown, PA- The Penn State Harrisburg women’s basketball team took control early and never looked back on Wednesday night, defeating the Wesley Wolverines by a score of 66-57 in their second-to-last home game of the season.
The team was ready to play from the opening tip, moving the ball effectively on offense, securing key rebounds, and showing defensive intensity. Junior forward Tessa Dolce starred early, scoring six of the team’s first eight points. Two of those points were the result of Dolce fighting for an offensive rebound. With 2:30 left to play in the first quarter, junior guard Alexis Nolan drained a three-pointer to make the Penn State lead 13-9. Late in the quarter, sophomore guard Shanique Mattis fed Dolce for an easy layup. The Lions led 17-12 after the first quarter.
The intensity continued at the start of the second quarter. The Lions called a timeout up 19-14 early in the quarter, and immediately out of that timeout, senior guard Ana Edmondson went untouched down the court for a layup. Edmondson wasn’t done, hitting a key three-pointer with 3:17 to go to make it 29-21 Penn State. This forced Wesley to call a timeout. Wesley hit a three of their own out of that timeout, but it was answered quickly when senior Kaitlyn Carmo banked a three for the quick answer. Carmo hit two free throws late in the second to make it 34-26 in favor of the Lions. That would be the halftime score.
Mattis went to work at the beginning of the third, scoring six early points. Senior center Katie Schwenk’s two-pointer stretched out the Lion lead further, making it 42-28. That lead would soon be seventeen with two more points from Tessa Dolce. Penn State ball movement shined again when Kaitlyn Carmo scored two thanks to an inbounds pass from sophomore Aireo Payne. The Lions found themselves with a comfortable fifteen-point lead, up by a score of 53-38 heading into the final quarter.
Proving that they weren’t ready to give in just yet, the Wolverines opened up the fourth on an 8-0 run to get within single digits. The Lions would fail to score for almost four minutes at the start of the fourth until Dolce scored again, was fouled, and converted on the free throw to complete the three-point play. Wesley continued to stick around and hit a three-pointer that cut the Lion lead to 56-51 with 4:30 to play. That’s when freshman guard Katie Humphrey, who had just entered the game, took the wind out of Wesley’s sails with a corner three to make the lead eight points. The Lions would hold on from there to get the win.
The Lions have now won two games in a row and improve to 7-17 on the season. This is their third home win of the season. Their last home game is against Marymount (VA).