Lady Lions Beat Ranked Opponent on Road
The Lady Lions (2-0), ranked No. 9 in the country, traveled to College Station Wednesday night where they defeated the sixteenth ranked Aggies of Texas A&M by a final score of 63-58.
It was a shaky start for the Blue and White in the first half committing five turnovers in the first 10 minutes of the game that would ultimately set the tone for the night. During that stretch, senior guard Alex Bentley collected three fouls while senior forward Nikki Greene collected two, which forced Penn State head coach Coquese Washington to limit their minutes for the rest of the half.
Washington would later tell GoPSUsports.com that she was comfortable keeping Bentley on the bench due to her confidence in backup guard Dara Taylor’s ability to manage the game.
Despite Penn State’s shaky start and some key offensive weapons in early foul trouble, the Nittany Lions were able to go into the locker room at halftime only trailing 33-28. Washington felt like the five-point deficit was a small victory for the Lady Lions for having two of their stars on the bench for the majority of the half.
“We were able to keep the game close,” Washington told GoPSUsports.com in a post game press conference. “Even though we were down five at the half, I still felt like it was within reach and within striking distance for us. Again for not having Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene on the floor for a good stretch and to keep it close. Then in the second half it would be a different story.”
The second half would be a different story entirely for the Lady Lions. Once back out on the floor, Bentley caught fire scoring 14 of her 21 total points in the second half, while dishing out four assists. Greene also helped spark the Lions comeback, scoring all eight of her points in the final 20 minutes.
Penn State finally had its offense rolling with Greene and Bentley back out on the floor and slowly chipped away at the Aggie’s lead. With 8:35 remaining in the game, junior guard Maggie Lucas recorded two of her eventual 18 points, giving the Lady Lions their first lead of the night, 50-49.
However, the Lady Lion lead would be short-lived as the Aggies stormed back to take a 56-51 lead with 6:24 remaining in the game. The game was in doubt for the Lady Lions as Texas A&M had regained any momentum the Lions had earned.
Then the game took a turn in the Lions favor. Penn State regained momentum with its defense forcing nine turnovers, while limiting the Aggies to just two points in the final six minutes. The Lady Lions had completed the comeback and persevered after a difficult and shaky first half.
After the game, Washington told GoPSUsports.com that it was a big win for the program despite it being only the second contest of the season.
“It means a lot,” Washington said of the win in College Station. “When you can go on the road in a tough environment and win. Texas A&M is one of the toughest places to play in the country and it doesn’t matter if it’s the second game of the season or the last game of the season, and when you can come in here and not play your best basketball, but come away with a win that’s certainly a positive for us and a positive to build on.”
Moving forward the undefeated and ninth ranked Lady Lions will return home to square off with Lafeyette on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 pm EST. Listen to the game on PSUComRadio.com.
Sean Flanery is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.