WASHINGTON – In stunning fashion Gallaudet University knocked off the last undefeated women's basketball team in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) on Wednesday night as the Bison clobbered Penn St.-Abington, 60-39, in the Field House.
Gallaudet (9-7, 8-4 NEAC) held Penn St.-Abington (11-2, 8-1 NEAC) to its lowest point total this season and limited the Nittany Lions to just eight points in the first half. Penn St.-Abington shot a season worst 22.5 percent from the field (16 of 71) and only made 4 of 35 shots in the first half (11.4 percent). The Bison win avenges a 48-28 loss at Penn St.-Abington on Jan. 6.
"We came in tonight knowing Abington was a great team. We understood that to beat an undefeated team we had to play together the entire game," said Gallaudet coach Stephanie Stevens. "I am proud of our ladies tonight. We are looking forward to our matchups this weekend."
The Bison played a strong defense in the first half but had several missed opportunities on offense to increase their lead. In a seven-minute stretch the Bison missed seven shots and three free throw attempts before their next made basket to give them an 11-6 lead at the 6:52 mark.
As time wore on the Bison improved their game and increased their lead.
Freshman guard Sabina Shysh (Tucson, Ariz.) stole the ball from the Nittany Lions with 25 seconds left in the first half and raced down the court to make a layup to put the Bison up 17, 25-8. Senior guard Alexa Justus (Forks, Wash.) sank a three-point shot in the final seconds as the Bison led 28-8 at intermission.
Gallaudet held nearly a 20-point lead over the Nittany Lions the entire second half as Coach Stevens emptied her bench. The last Bison starter was pulled from the game with three and a half minutes left. Every Bison in uniform saw time on the court.
The Bison bench contributed 22 points to the total score and were led by Shysh, who scored 10 points, followed closely by junior forward Danielle Morris (St. Louis, Mich.) with nine points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Zamica Gage (Washington, D.C.) led the team in points (13) and tied senior forward Lane Peters (Phoenix, Ariz.) for the lead in rebounds (nine). Peters also contributed six points while Justus tallied 12 points, all off three-point shots (four made).
Jessica Schmidt led the Nittany Lions with a double-double as she tallied 14 points and 14 rebounds to go with five steals and three blocks.
The Bison have won their last five games at home and will face a stern task on Saturday, Jan. 31, when they host Lancaster Bible College (11-3, 9-1 NEAC) at 1 p.m.