by Joel Nelson
ALTOONA, Pa. – In its last regular season game of 2017-18 on Saturday evening, the Penn State Altoona women's basketball team lost 73-62 to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference rival Penn State Behrend.
With the loss, Penn State Altoona (11-12, 7-11 AMCC) was officially eliminated from any potential postseason play.
"Tonight was a tough loss. We had great moments on the boards, as well as executing on the offensive end," said Penn State Altoona head coach Casey Shoup. "I wish we would have been able to send Shannon and Megan off on a win against Behrend. They are going to be missed greatly. The coaching staff has enjoyed working with them over the course of the last several years. Both of them are top notch, and we wish them the best as they transition out of college and into their careers."
Penn State Altoona got double-double performances from Paige Burk (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) and Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone). Burk finished with 14 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Cannistraci brought home 11 points and 12 rebounds, finishing her season with a double-digit scoring effort in six of her final seven games on the year.
Kaley Strittmatter (Williamsburg, PA/Penn Cambria) had a solid first half, knocking down a trio of three-point shots to help accumulate a total of 11 first-half points. Strittmatter finished with 13 points, as well as seven rebounds.
In her final game as a Lady Lion, Zimmermanscored three points while recording five rebounds and a team-high four assists.
Penn State Behrend (12-13, 10-8 AMCC) had solid offensive outings from three starters: Erika Woll, Autumn Byes and Kourtney Beamesderfer. Woll led all players with 21 points and seven assists. Beamesderfer drained three three-point shots in a 15-point effort, and Byes recorded a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Burk and Strittmatter hit threes and Cannistraci got a layup to give Penn State Altoona an early 8-2 lead with 7:39 to go in the first quarter. The Lady Lions would keep on marching to hold a 20-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Down by as many as eight points in the second quarter, Penn State Behrend tied the game with a Byes layup with 2:05 to go. Behrend outscored Penn State Altoona 17-14 in the second quarter, but the home team escaped the first half up 34-31.
Turnovers were aplenty in the second half for Penn State Altoona. Behrend took advantage and held Altoona to just seven points in the third quarter, while putting up 24 of their own to lead 55-41 by the period's end.
Penn State Altoona had its highest-scoring quarter in the fourth with 21 points, but they ultimately suffered the 73-62 loss.
Zimmerman and fellow senior Megan Wheeler finish their collegiate careers setting numerous Penn State Altoona records. Zimmerman will graduate with a degree in Nursing, and Wheeler will graduate with a degree in Security and Risk Analysis.