ALTOONA, Pa. – For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the Penn State Altoona women's basketball team has earned a berth into the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament.
The Lady Lions (12-12, 10-8 AMCC) earned the fourth seed in the AMCC Tournament and will host fifth seed Penn State Behrend (10-15, 8-10 AMCC) in a first round playoff game this Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Adler Arena.
Wednesday night's winner will advance to the AMCC's final four, which will be hosted by top seed La Roche College this weekend. Penn State Altoona or Penn State Behrend would face La Roche on Saturday, February 23 in the semifinal round. The AMCC Championship game is Sunday, February 24, with that contest's winner moving on to compete in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Penn State Altoona's previous AMCC Tournament appearance came during the 2014-15 season. That year, the fourth-seeded Lady Lions hosted fifth seed Medaille College in the first round of the conference tournament on February 24, 2015, winning 97-65 to advance to the semifinal round. But Penn State Altoona was eliminated with a 102-69 loss to eventual AMCC champion La Roche College on February 27.
The Lady Lions basketball team enters this year's AMCC Tournament in search of its third-ever conference title. Penn State Altoona has two AMCC championships to its name, earning back-to-back crowns in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
The 2018-19 edition of the Lady Lions features the highest scoring offense in the AMCC, as the team is averaging 69.7 points per game. Penn State Altoona has been getting solid contributions from all five of its regular starters. Sophomore guard/forward Alexis Cannistraci (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) is second in the AMCC in points per game (17.5) and rebounds per game (9.8), while junior guard Finnley Christine (Tyrone, PA/Tyrone) – the reigning conference co-preseason player of the year – is fifth in the AMCC in points per game (15.6) and ended the regular season just 42 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark for her collegiate career. Junior guard Paige Burk (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) has been one of the AMCC's top defensive players, as she is second in the conference in blocks (42) and ninth in defensive rebounds (110), and she also ranks fourth in assists (94) and 10th in three-pointers made (35). Junior guard/forward Kaley Strittmatter (Williamsburg, PA/Central) is adding 10.0 points per game for the Lady Lions, and freshman guard Jessica Stevens (Altoona, PA/Altoona) is eighth in the AMCC in assists (77) while chipping in 8.5 points per game.