Lady Lions drop sixth straight, winless in B1G Play
No. 24 ranked Rutgers applied early and often pressure to an inexperienced Lady Lion (3-13, 0-5 B1G) squad, and walked out of the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday afternoon with a 71-51 win.
In a matchup that featured three of the top nine scorers in the Big Ten conference, defense was the story of today’s game.
The Lady Lions turned the ball over an alarming 38 times, resulting in 36 points for Rutgers (12-4, 3-2 Big Ten).
“That’s the game,” said Coquese Washington after the game. “38 turnovers is a number that’s insurmountable.”
The Lady Lions were competitive throughout the game, most notably on the defensive end with their 2-3 zone, holding Rutgers under 40-percent from the field.
“It was our defense [that kept us close] … their scoring percentage against our set defense was relatively low,” said Washington.
Despite 17 turnovers in the first half, the Lady Lions went into halftime down just six, 35-29. Rutgers extended their defense full court in the second half and Penn State’s offense stalled as Rutgers finished with a 22-shot advantage.
“We go on scoring droughts and a lot of times those scoring droughts are directly correlated to our turnovers,” added Washington.
Freshman standout, Lindsey Spann, and Duke transfer, Sierra Moore, attempted to keep the Lady Lions in the game; however, they struggled from the field, shooting a combined 10-27 with 18 turnovers.
When asked about the turnovers, Spann was very brief, calling them “frustrating.” She finished the game with 18 points in 31 minutes of action.
Penn State’s primary post presence, Candice Agee, acknowledged the physical presence of the Scarlet Knights after finishing with ten points and six rebounds.
“Rutgers did a good job at pressuring the ball,” said Agee.
Rutgers’ prestigious head coach C. Vivian Stringer spoke on her decision to implement the press to slow Agee and the Lady Lions down.
“We had to do that. They’re obviously much bigger, and they were going to pass it to the inside” said Stringer. “Our post weren’t handling the big people.”
Leading the Rutgers press was senior guard, Syessence Davis. Davis finished the game with just one point, however, she singlehandedly disrupted Penn State’s offense, erupting for 10 steals in the game, while dishing out eight assists.
Coach Stringer had high praise for the play of her senior guard, who’s currently ranked second in the Big Ten in steals.
“She’s our player of the game,” said Stringer. “She's not confused about the value system that we place. Without her I don't know where we would be and if we would win.”
Betnijah Laney added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Scarlet Knights as they continue to look competitive in conference play.
Next up for the Lady Lions is a trip to the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers on Thursday. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Marley Paul is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism. You may contact him at mdp5300.psu.edu.
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