Penn State DuBois basketball teams prepare for PSUAC playoffs

The women’s and men’s basketball teams at Penn State DuBois.

The women’s and men’s basketball teams at Penn State DuBois.

Credit: Penn State

DuBOIS, Pa. — For the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Penn State DuBois, one goal has been achieved: qualifying for the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) playoffs. Now, they move toward the next goal on their list: winning the conference championship.

To begin the week, the Lady Lions traveled to face Penn State New Kensington. Penn State DuBois displayed dominance on the court, securing a decisive victory against New Kensington with a final score of 77-44. The Lady Lions exhibited exceptional teamwork and offensive prowess throughout the game.

Natalie Bowser emerged as a standout player for DuBois, contributing an impressive 20 points and commanding the boards with 16 rebounds. Rebecca Martin showcased her 3-point shooting skills, sinking 4 of 12 attempts and accumulating a total of 16 points. Tara Leamer's strong presence in the paint added to the team's success, with nine points and 12 rebounds.

The first quarter set the tone for the Lady Lions’ dominance, as they established a commanding 23-6 lead. The team continued to control the game in the subsequent quarters, with consistent scoring and formidable defense.

DuBois maintained a commendable shooting performance, finishing the game with a 42.9% overall field goal percentage. Their prowess extended beyond scoring, evident in their 25 second-chance points and 14 points off turnovers. Defensively, the Lady Lions showcased their resilience, limiting New Kensington to a mere 28.4% overall field goal percentage. DuBois also outscored their opponents in the paint, accumulating 36 points compared to New Kensington's 26.

In addition to their on-court achievements, the Lady Lions demonstrated depth in their roster, with the bench contributing 24 points. The team's comprehensive performance highlighted their skill, strategy, and determination, leaving no room for doubt in their well-deserved victory.

Following the impressive win to start the week, the Lady Lions then traveled to face a resilient Penn State Shenango squad that was looking to take any winning momentum away from DuBois. When the game reached its conclusion, DuBois faced a heartbreak in an intense overtime showdown against Shenango, ultimately succumbing to a 78-72 defeat at the Buhl Club.

From the tip-off, both teams displayed relentless determination, making it a fiercely contested affair. Despite the best efforts of the Lady Lions, they couldn't secure the win against Shenango's resilience.

Frances Milliron led the charge for DuBois with an impressive 16 points, showcasing a well-rounded performance with seven assists and five rebounds. Bowser added a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Martin and Kelsey Stuart contributed 12 and 17 points, respectively.

The game remained tight throughout, with DuBois trailing 38-35 at halftime and 51-47 after the third quarter. The teams couldn't be separated in regulation, resulting in a 65-65 tie, but Shenango edged ahead in the overtime period, outscoring DuBois 13-7.

Despite a commendable defensive effort, featuring six steals and four blocks, DuBois struggled to capitalize on key opportunities. Second-chance points proved elusive, with Shenango holding a decisive 21-6 advantage in that category.

The loss was a setback for the Lady Lions, but the team showcased resilience and determination against a formidable opponent, a positive point that they will now carry into the playoffs.

For the men’s team, the Nittany Lions also traveled to face Penn State New Kensington to start their week. Penn State DuBois faced a tough challenge on the road against New Kensington, ultimately falling short in a hard-fought contest that ended 83-73 in favor of the home team.

The Nittany Lions displayed a strong start, holding a 42-35 lead at halftime. Beau Verdill led the charge with an impressive double-double, contributing 23 points and 11 rebounds. However, New Kensington staged a comeback in the second half, outscoring DuBois 48-31 to secure the victory.

Ashton Fortson, Jaiquil Johnson, and Kaleb Pryor made notable contributions for DuBois, scoring seven, 11 and 17 points, respectively. The team showcased proficiency from beyond the arc, shooting 33.3% from 3-point range. Despite their efforts, Penn State New Kensington's balanced performance, led by Aubrey Feaster II's 24 points and 10 rebounds, proved decisive.

The game saw intense action in the paint, with DuBois accumulating 28 points compared to Penn State New Kensington's 40. However, the home team capitalized on turnovers, scoring 32 points off DuBois' mistakes. Additionally, New Kensington dominated second-chance opportunities, outscoring DuBois 22-5 in that category.

Not wanting to have their playoff position slip away in the final week of the regular season, the Nittany Lions looked to rebound after the loss when they hit the road to face Penn State Shenango. DuBois showcased an impressive performance on the road, securing a commanding 92-79 victory against Shenango at the Buhl Club on Friday night.

The Nittany Lions took control early in the game, finishing the first half with a 45-40 lead. The team displayed remarkable accuracy, shooting at 52.1% overall, with significant contributions from Johnson, who finished the game with 26 points, and Verdill, who contributed eight points and seven rebounds in the contest. Fortson and Pryor also played pivotal roles, scoring 12 and seven points, respectively.

The second half saw continued dominance from DuBois, as they extended their lead to secure the 92-79 win. The team's proficiency beyond the arc, shooting 40% from 3-point range, and strong defensive efforts paved the way for their success.

Shenango fought hard, with Quintin Stephens leading the home team with 19 points and six rebounds. Despite their efforts, they couldn't contain the offensive firepower of DuBois.

The Nittany Lions showcased versatility, accumulating 39 bench points and utilizing their depth effectively. The team's ability to capitalize on turnovers, scoring 33 points off Shenango's mistakes, played a crucial role in their victory. Additionally, DuBois demonstrated resilience on the boards, securing 29 rebounds as a team.

The victory gives the Nittany Lions positive momentum at the conclusion of the regular season as they head into the playoffs.

With both the Nittany Lions and Lady Lions qualifying for the PSUAC playoffs, both teams will be in action again early this week. The Lady Lions, who now hold a .500 record for the season at 11-11, enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed on the western side of the PSUAC bracket. They will travel to face the No. 1 seed, Penn State Beaver, today, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. This will be the third time these two teams have faced each other, with Beaver winning both prior contests, a completive matchup at the PAW Center on Jan. 24 that ended 69-60, and Beaver picked up the win at their home court on Feb. 7 by a final of 80-69.

The Nittany Lions, whose record also is even at 14-14 for the season, also will enter the PSUAC playoffs as the No. 4 seed on the western side of the bracket. That means they now matchup against the No. 1 seed, Penn State Mont Alto. That game also will be played today, Feb. 26, with a start time of 7:30 p.m. These two teams have not seen each other since their matchup at Mont Alto on Jan. 27, a 90-69 victory for Mont Alto. The two teams also had a matchup early in the season at the PAW Center, with Mont Alto winning that game 81-49.

The winners for both the men’s and women’s playoff games will advance to the next round, which will be played on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

For complete athletic schedules, including any weather-related changes, visit the Penn State DuBois athletic website.