The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 30, 2014

IUP women trip Pitt-Johnstown in overtime

JOHNSTOWN — Amy Fairman hit two free-throws with eight seconds left to seal Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s 85-80  comeback victory over Pitt-Johnstown on Wednesday night in the Sports Center.

Kelsey Sleighter’s 16 points led four Pitt-Johnstown players in double figures as the Lady Cats slipped to 7-12 overall, 4-5 in the PSAC West.

The Lady Cats jumped on IUP for eight first-half 3-pointers and an 11-point halftime advantage.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kayla DeCriscio ahead of a Jasmine Harper bucket in the paint gave Pitt-Johnstown a 22-9 seven minutes into the game.  IUP battled back with a 22-10 run over the next 9 minutes to pull to within one (32-31) on Zhane Brooks’ layup at 4:04.

The Lady Cats scored the final 10 points of the half, including four straight from Inaya Stephenson, to take a 42-31 lead into the break.

Sleighter’s jumper early in the second half extended the lead to 46-34, but the Crimson Hawks used a 32-16 run to take their first lead of the night at 66-62 on Talen Watson’s jumper with 8:05 to play.

It stayed close the rest of the second half until Jasmine Harper’s basket with 14 seconds remaining knotted it at 77 to force overtime.

 In the extra period, Watson’s two free throws with 1:44 put the Crimson Hawks up 81-80, and Fairman hit four straight free throws in the final 8 seconds to seal the IUP victory.

Sleighter hit four 3-pointers and finished with a team-high 16 points and five rebounds. Harper had 15 points and five rebounds while DeCriscio had 12 points, all on 3-pointers.

Rachel Johnson’s double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds rounded out the Lady Cats who scored in double figures. Stephenson and Dominique Smith added eight and seven points, respectively off the bench.

Johnson is 20th on the Lady Cats all-time rebounding with 558. Johnson is three rebounds shy of Teri Menett (1987-91) for 19th place on the list.

After shooting 55 percent in the first half, Pitt-Johnstown ended the game shooting 49.2 percent (31 of 63) from the field, 12 of 24 from 3-point range, and 6 of 8 from the charity stripe. IUP rebounded from a poor shooting first half to end the night at 44.9 percent (31 of 69). The Crimson Hawks were 8 of 15 from behind the 3-point line, and 15 of 22 from the foul line.

Fairman poured in a game-high 24 points and Watson chipped in 19 to lead IUP. The Crimson Hawks improved to 13-6 overall, 4-5 in the PSAC West.