ERIE, Pa. -- Penn State Altoona women's basketball was defeated 81-66 by Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Penn State Behrend on Saturday afternoon in the Junker Center.
Penn State Altoona (5-7, 2-6 AMCC) got a career-high 29 points from Finnley Christine (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone), tying for the third-most points scored in a game by a Lady Lions player in program history. She also tied for the team-high in the game with nine rebounds and added five steals.
"We had some really nice moments offensively and defensively, but it wasn't enough," said Penn State Altoona head coach Casey Shoup. "Fin played well and fell just shy of a double-double. Meg hit the boards well for us and provided some good outlet passes. We had moments in the game where we beat them on backdoor cuts, and that was a time where we executed our offense at its best."
Penn State Behrend (6-9, 4-4 AMCC) was led in scorng by Emily Kinecki, who put up a double-double effort with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Autumn Byes scored 14 points to go along with eight rebounds, Kourtney Beamesderfer added 11 points, and Nicole Boyer and Ally Dillman scored 10 points each.
Behrend jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter, as Morgan Atterholt's layup at 6:03 gave the home team a nine-point lead. Two free throws from Byes kept the difference at nine points, 15-6, with 2:55 left in the period.
Penn State Altoona ended the period on a 10-2 run, however, to narrow its deficit to one by the end of the first. Kaley Strittmatter (Williamsburg, PA/Penn Cambria), Cannistraci, and Christine each made shots to cut Behrend's lead to 15-12 by 1:49. Cannistraci and Christine each added another basket to make it 17-16 with 12 seconds left in the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Lions continued to ride their momentum and were able to grab the lead. At 8:32, Shannon Zimmerman (Pine Grove, PA/Pine Grove) tied the score 19-19 with her layup, and Christine's bucket at 7:48 gave Penn State Altoona a 21-19 advantage.
But Behrend used a three-pointer from Beamesderfer at 7:30 to get back on top, 22-21, and the home team maintained a lead through the remainder of the quarter. At halftime, Behrend led 32-28.
Behrend won the third quarter by a seven-point margin, expanding its lead. Boyer and Byes opened the second half scoring with jump shots, and Erika Woll's layup at 8:05 gave Behrend a 40-30 lead.
Three-pointers from Christine and Wheeler brought Penn State Altoona back to within four points, 40-36, by the 6:38 mark. But Behrend pulled away, eventually going up by 14 points when Dillman's layup made it 59-45 with 22 seconds left in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Christine's three-pointer at 9:19 made it a 10-point game, 61-51, but the Lady Lions were unable to make up any more ground on the scoreboard. Behrend went on to lead by as many as 18 points
Penn State Altoona women's basketball returns to the Adler Arena for its next game, hosting AMCC opponent Pitt-Greensburg on Wednesday, January 17 at 8:00 p.m. That game marks the first of three consecutive home games for the Lady Lions, as they will also face Hilbert College on Saturday, January 20 at 3:00 p.m. and non-conference Hood College on Monday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m.