Lady Lions Take Care of Business vs. Indiana

Story posted January 23, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Tim Alvarez

In a game where senior leader Dara Taylor was in foul trouble for almost the entire first half, the 13th ranked Lady Lions (14-4, 5-1) played great defense and added some timely buckets to beat Indiana (15-4, 2-4) 65-52. The Hoosiers could not solve Penn State’s zone defense and ended up shooting 27 percent from the field. Not only did the Lady Lions play great defense, they played defense without fouling, finishing the game with 18 fouls compared to the Hoosiers 26.

The first half was a low scoring affair, with both teams struggling out of the gate. The Lady Lions opened the game with full-court pressure, hoping to rattle the inexperienced Hoosiers. Penn State’s defensive game plan seemed like it worked, as the Lady Lions had six steals at halftime. However after two threes from Indiana, the Lady Lions had to resort to a zone defense. The Lady Lions interior defense stepped up again providing four blocks in the half.

On offense the Lady Lions tried to get the ball inside the paint early and often and the strategy succeeded for the most part. Ariel Edwards played a fantastic and efficient first half, finishing with 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists with only seven shots. Penn State also succeeded in getting to the line, finishing with 12 free throw attempts in the first, making 11 of them.

The Hoosiers were led by Tabitha Gerardot and her three shots from long distance. Gerardot also chipped in five rebounds in the first half. Gerardot finished with 12 points for the game.

The second half was dominated by Penn State and their defense, as they quickly went on a 15-2 run to put the contest away. The Lady Lions forced the spurt with a combination of blocks, steals, free throws and jump shots from senior star Maggie Lucas. 

The Lady Lions continued to get the ball inside and get to the free throw line the entire game.

“It was absolutely an emphasis,” said head coach Coquese Washington. “Because of our size advantage we wanted to attack them in the paint, whether it was the half court or transition, we wanted to attack them in the paint and pound them in the glass.”

With Taylor in foul trouble, Lucas had to take over much of the ball handling duties. Lucas along with Edwards were able to get the ball inside and force Indiana to commit fouls.  The Lady Lions ended up shooting 31 free throws, making 22 of them.

Penn State was able to use their size advantage to shut down the Hoosier offense. The Lady Lions finished with 54 rebounds to only 30 from the Hoosiers. Penn State was also able to force turnovers, finishing the game with eight steals and five blocks.

Edwards was big the entire game and finished with an efficient 18 points on eight shots. The senior also chipped in eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.

“I would definitely would say it was my teammates,” Edwards said when asked how she played so efficiently. “They got me the ball when I was open, gave me easy looks, clean looks, I didn’t have to work hard, it was really nice.”

Lucas finished with 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting, hitting two threes in the process. She was able to chip in eight rebounds, running off the long rebounds from the missed threes of Indiana.

Talia East also had a great game, especially in the second half. East finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. The senior forward added one block and provided solid interior defense.

Penn State plays Minnesota at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, January 26. ComRadio will provide coverage.

Tim Alvarez is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email tva5063@psu.edu.