Lady Cats Hold Off West Liberty, 69-63
02/09/12... (Box Score) Sara Trimarco (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) scored 20 of her game-high 24 points in the first half, and Kaitlynn Fratz (Accident, MD) added 21 points to help the Lady Cats build double-digit leads in both halves in a 69-63 West Virginia Conference win over West Liberty (WV) University, Thursday in the Sports Center. Pitt-Johnstown has won six of its last seven games and improved to 11-10 overall and 9-8 in the WVIAC.
Behind 20 first half points from Trimarco and 13 from Fratz, the Lady Cats erased a 5-0 deficit and turned it into an 11-point halftime advantage.
After falling behind early, Fratz scored nine points in an 18-7 Pitt-Johnstown run to put the Lady Cats in front 18-12 eight minutes into the game.
West Liberty battled back to take a pair of one point leads, with the last coming at 22-21 on a Briana Kamarec basket at 9:12.
However, Trimarco netted 11 of her 20 first half points in a 19-7 Pitt-Johnstown spurt to close out the half.
Trimarco scored to give the lead right back to the Lady Cats, before two Trimarco free-throws and a Rachel Johnson (Palmyra, Pa.) basket extended it to 13 with 3:32 left.
The Lady Hilltoppers got a pair of free-throws from Erica Hershberger with :31 seconds to cut the deficit to 40-29 at the break.
Hershberger's basket three minutes into the second half capped a 7-0 West Liberty spurt to make it 40-36, but Pitt-Johnstown quickly rebuilt the lead to 13 on a Fratz lay-up just over two minutes later.
The Lady Cats held that 13-point lead until the 12:23 mark when the Hilltoppers countered with an 19-5 run, closed by Kamarec's 3-pointer and a basket from Emily Blevins, over the next seven minutes, to regain the lead 60-59 with 5:38 to play.
Fratz got the lead back for Pitt-Johnstown, and Nicole Carman (Cleveland, OH) extended back to four at the 3:26 mark, before the Lady Cats held on for the six-point victory.
Trimarco led all scorers with 24 points on 7-14 shooting and 8-8 from the free-throw line. Trimarco also grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists, while Fratz had 21 points, five rebounds and three assists. Grace Hyland (Pittsburgh, Pa.) collected seven points and five rebounds, and Carman and Johnson each had six points and five rebounds for the Lady Cats.
Pitt-Johnstown ended the night shooting 40.4% (23-57) from the field, 6-18 from 3-point range, and 17-24 from the free-throw line, while holding West Liberty to just 33.8% (24-71) shooting and 8-27 from behind the 3-point line. The Hilltoppers were also 7-10 from the charity stripe.
Blevins had 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, and Kayla Ayers chipped-in 12 points and eight rebounds for the Hilltoppers, who slipped to 12-10 overall and 9-7 in the WVIAC.
The Lady Cats begin a stretch of four straight WVIAC road games at Alderson-Broaddus (WV) College on Saturday, before returning home to celebrate Senior Day and wrap-up the 2011-12 regular season with a conference doubleheader with the Mountain Cats against Seton Hill University on Saturday, Feb. 25 beginning at 1 p.m. in the Sports Center.