DELAWARE, Ohio – Penn State Altoona women's basketball was handed a loss by a nationally-ranked team on Saturday afternoon, when the Lady Lions fell 86-40 to No. 19 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the consolation game of the Hoops for Hope Tournament at Ohio Wesleyan University's Branch Rickey Arena.
Penn State Altoona (3-7) got off to a strong start and held a lead midway through the first quarter, but a big second quarter by Wisconsin-Oshkosh (10-1) propelled the Titans to a 43-15 lead at the half. Wisconsin-Oshkosh never looked back, prevailing by 46 points.
Penn State Altoona's Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) posted game-highs in points and rebounds, leading all players on the day with 15 points and 11 rebounds. At the conclusion of the game, she was named to the Hoops for Hope all-tournament team. In two games this weekend, Cannistraci averaged 14.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Finnley Christine (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) added 14 points for the Lady Lions on Saturday to go along with six rebounds and a team-high three assists. Paige Burk (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) tied for the game-high in steals with four.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh, which entered Saturday's contest ranked 19th in the most recent edition of the D3hoops.com top 25 poll, was led by Olivia Campell's 13 points and seven rebounds. The Titans also got 10 points apiece from Nikki Arneson and Jessie Rabas.
Penn State Altoona opened the first quarter on a 7-2 run. After two free throws by Jessica Stevens (Altoona, PA/Altoona) accounted for the game's first points, Cannistraci hit a three-pointer and a two-point jump shot to put the Lady Lions up by five points at the 7:38 mark. Layups from Stevens and Cannistraci added to Penn State Altoona's point total, and Cannistraci's foul shot at 4:27 gave her team a 12-9 advantage. After Rabas' three-pointer at 3:26 tied the score 12-12, Kaley Strittmatter (Williamsburg, PA/Penn Cambria) made a jump shot 16 seconds later to put Penn State Altoona back on top, 14-12.
But Wisconsin-Oshkosh dominated play for the rest of the first half, outscoring Penn State Altoona 31-1 in the remaining 13 minutes before the intermission.
The Titans grabbed their first lead of the day on Leah Porath's layup with 53 seconds left in the first quarter, and she added another basket before the end of the period to give her team an 18-14 advantage heading into the second quarter. Campbell's layup at 7:37 of the second quarter helped Wisconsin-Oshkosh to its first double-digit lead of the game, 26-15. A three-pointer and layup from Abby Kaiser extended the Titans' lead to 43-15 by halftime.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh went on to post scoring advantages of 21-10 and 22-15 in the game's final two quarters. The Titans took their largest lead of the day at 6:15 of the fourth quarter, when a free throw made it 77-25.
Penn State Altoona women's basketball will close out the calendar year this Monday, December31, when the Lady Lions will host non-conference opponent Chatham University for 1:00 p.m. game in the Adler Arena.
Monday's game is High School Day. All fans who wear apparel from their favorite high school will gain free admission for the day, including for the men's game, which is the second game of the non-conference doubleheader.