Women’s Basketball Continue to Improve in 2022


Christopher Palm

#45 Anna Mahan provides a screen as #4 Jayla Galbreath drives to the basket.

The Women’s Basketball program at Penn State Harrisburg continues to put in the effort heading into 2022.

Despite two of their conference games being postponed to later in the season and their game against Messiah cancelled, the Harrisburg Lions did not let any setbacks get in their way heading into January.

“We’ve come together really well as a team,” said junior guard Jayla Galbreath. “We had some growing pains but with conference play just now starting, we’ve really come together as a team.”

It would not be until the middle of the month when the Lions would travel to Williamsport to take on Penn College.

The Lions regrouped after the first quarter to hold off the Wildcats 71-66, with Galbreath scoring 22 points with Alli Walton tallying up 11 points and seven rebounds.

“Having multiple games canceled in a row is not really fun,” said sophomore guard Jenna Montana. “We were a little bit rusty but we just had to pick it up after a month of not playing.”

The next day, the Harrisburg Lions returned home to the Capital Union Building to play Penn State Abington, winning in record-breaking style 105-62.

The team set a new single-game program record for the most points and matched the single-game record with 18 three-pointers made and 28 assists.

“Scoring-wise, it was kind of spread out across a lot of our players,” said Montana. “It’s always fun to see the whole entire team succeeding in that (the players’) perspective.”

Galbreath led the team with 17 points and six assists as Ciani Redd-Howard tacked on 14 points and nine rebounds, including three straight 3-pointers in the first quarter.

The Lions would then escape with a road win over Gallaudet 72-70 with Kendis Butler leading the way with 21 points and Galbreath with 15 points and 4 assists.

Anna Mahan would also lend her hand to the effort with seven points, four blocks and 11 rebounds.

“(Butler) was clutch for us,” said Galbreath. “that’s been really beneficial for us when it comes to scoring and hitting our shots and putting us in a really good spot for conference play.”

Returning to the CUB for a trio of home games, the Lions made a bounce-back effort in the second half with an 82-72 win over Lancaster Bible.

Redd-Howard kept the momentum going that game with 21 points and eight rebounds while Galbreath recorded 18 points and Butler scored 12 points.

However, the winning streak would not last as St. Mary’s pulled away with a narrow win over the Lions 67-59 after a late charge by Penn State Harrisburg.

Mahan and Redd-Howard led the team that game with 11 rebounds and 12 points respectively but the clock was in St. Mary’s favor to draw the loss.

“We’ve been down a lot at halftime,” said Montana. “We have to come out (of the locker room) like it’s 0-0, no matter what the score is.”

The Lions would bounce back in their last non-conference game of the regular season, beating Clarks Summit 82-66.

Combining their defense with the shooting, the team was able to pull away going into the fourth quarter recording 12 3-pointers with Giahny Correa and Butler scoring 13 points apiece.

Montana also contributed to the effort with 12 points and seven rebounds as did Mahan with 11 point and five assists.

“We’ve really come together to be able to push each other, to be able to lead in the way that we do,” said Galbreath.

The Lions would continue to put in the effort on the road in a 73-50 victory over Wells, despite a shaky start to the game and making a strong second-half comeback.

Macy Carroll recorded four 3-pointers to her 12 points that night with Galbreath and Butler scoring 11 points each and Mahan with nine points and 12 rebounds.

Adversity would soon hit the Harrisburg Lions in a couple of losses on the road. The first one coming against Morrisville State in an edging 59-54 loss in the final three minutes.

Butler led the team to 16 points with Mahan scoring seven points and seven rebounds and Montana with 11 rebounds.

The Lions would lose to St. Mary’s for the second time this season 61-53 after overcoming double-digit deficits on a couple of occasions.

Butler netted 19 points and recorded five rebounds for the team with Montana tacking on 11 points, three steals and two assists.

“(The coaches) have kept out spirits really high and really have been motivating us to keep the grind and readiness to stay on the court through all the pains that come with a long season like this,” said Galbreath.

At 11-7, the Harrisburg Lions looked to continue the season with optimism moving forward with a pair of back-to-back wins over Penn State Berks.

The first game at the CUB saw new program records set as the Harrisburg Lions won 112-35 over the Berks Lions on a Saturday afternoon.

Among those new records were the most points in a game (112 points), field goals and field goal percentage (44-71 (62.0%)), three-pointers (23-41), assists (33), and steals (27).

Butler continued the leading effort with 21 points, including seven three-pointers.  Toni Amato netted 16 points while Galbreath scored 15 points with four assists and three steals, and Montana recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

“I couldn’t have gotten the shots without our team,” said Butler.  “I think just working together is the main goal in point.  That’s what leads to success.”

The Harrisburg Lions continued the dominance in the second game on the road, beating Penn State Berks 76-32 and solidifying a season sweep over the Berks Lions.

Butler and Montana led the team in dominating fashion with 18 points and 10 points, respectively, with Redd-Howard recording seven rebounds and Amato five rebounds.

Returning home to the CUB, the Lions face Penn College in a close-nit matchup which resulted in a 61-50 win over the Wildcats.

After a rough start in the first quarter, the Lions overcame adversity late in the second quarter and pulled away in the second half to secure the win.

Montana was credited with 15 points and seven rebounds while Mahan scored 13 points and also had seven rebounds on the night.

“Having as much fun as we can,” said Mahan.  “The fun is what motivates us.  It keeps everything fresh.”

The Lions’ ended their home season with more history made despite losing to Gallaudet 64-60 on Senior Day.

With Mahan recording a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds, it was Butler who came out on top as she became the fastest player in the team’s history to record 1,000 points in her collegiate career.

Things would turn around when the Harrisburg Lions traveled to Penn State Abington, dominating the Abington Lions 91-70 in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

Butler led the team effort with 17 points and four rebounds with Redd-Howard, Galbreath and Correa each scoring 13 points.

“Just supporting one another and working together,” said Butler.  “I think it starts from the leaders.”

The Harrisburg Lions close out their season on Saturday, February 19 at Lancaster Bible.

#45 Anna Mahan provides a screen as #4 Jayla Galbreath drives to the basket. (Christopher Palm)