Lemont Furnace, PA - The Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) opens up its conference tournament Tuesday, and Penn State Fayette is looking to make some noise.
Fayette (16-8 overall, 11-6 PSUAC) is appearing for the first time since the 2017 tournament and hosts Penn State DuBois (15-9, 10-7). Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
The teams split the two regular season contests. On January 28, Fayette won at home, 92-61, before losing at DuBois on February 18, 69-68.
Fayette head coach Scott Hillen said his team, which has been banged up as of late while fighting through injuries, is ready to go.
"I think the team will be focused for the playoffs," he said. "This is a competitive group, and considering we just lost two games in a row, hopefully the competitive feelings has us in the right frame of mind."
In the January 28 win, Fayette exploded for 35 points in the second quarter and cruised from there.
Three Fayette players recorded double-doubles as Kaitlyn Riley (Charleroi, PA/Charleroi HS) finished with game-highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds, Anaejah Harris (Uniontown, PA/Albert Gallatin HS) had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Taylor McCormick (Laurel, MD/Eleanor Roosevelt HS) added 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Brooke Poling (Perryopolis, PA/Frazier HS) added 15 points and eight rebounds.
In the loss last week, Fayette only shot 27% (21-78) from the floor and 13% (3-23) from beyond the arc.
McCormkick led Fayette with 22 points, Riley had 21 and Dae-lin Burnsworth (Monarch, PA/Connellsville HS) finished with 15.
Fayette is scoring 74 points per game and is holding its opponents to 63. Fayette is shooting at a 37% clip for the season from the field and 28% on three-pointers while its opponents are shooting 35% form the field and 27% on three-pointers.
Riley leads four Fayette players in double figures at 17 points per game (PPG) while McCormick is at 15.2 PPG, Burnsworth is at 12.3 PPG and Poling is at 11.3 PPG.
Poling and Riley share the team lead with 8.3 rebounds per game while McCormick is pacing the team with 4.1 assister per game and 3.3 steals per game.
Hillen is fully aware that every team Fayette could see is a talented team.
"We know every team from here on out is a good team and we need to play our 'A' game if we want to keep going," he said. "We need to stay focused on what we need to do as a team and take it one possession at a time. Our defensive mentality needs to be there on every possession and we need to play team basketball."
Fayette earned the home game as the second seed from the PSUAC West while DuBois finished one game back in third place.
With a win, Fayette would advance to the PSUAC semifinals for the first time since 2014 where it would take on the highest remaining team from the PSUAC East.
The other quarterfinal games are West fourth seed Penn State Mont Alto (8-15, 5-12) at West first seed Penn State Beaver (21-4, 17-0), East fourth seed Penn State Wilkes-Barre (13-9, 9-9) at East first seed Penn State Brandywine (18-7, 14-4) and East third seed Penn State Schuykill (9-15, 9-9) at East second seed Penn State Lehigh Valley (16-9, 14-4).
The semifinals are on Sunday at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park.
For more information on the women's basketball team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/wbkb/index or follow us on Instagram @fayetteathletics.