Lady Lions Take Down St. Francis in Season Opener
Penn State started out the night not missing a beat from last year’s Big Ten championship season.
After the banner was raised into the rafters, the Lady Lions continued their defense with a 117-77 win over St. Francis. The 117-point effort was the second highest total by a Lady Lions team in the history of the Bryce Jordan Center.
The starting backcourt of the Lady Lions combined for 70 points, led by a game high 33 points from guard Maggie Lucas.
“I was confident, but it was a lot of easy looks,” said Lucas.
Senior forward Ariel Edwards had 23 points and senior guard Dara Taylor chipped in 14 for the Lady Lions backcourt.
Coach Coquese Washington is entering her seventh year as head coach and acknowledged her team is still a work in progress.
“It was a struggle to find the right combinations at different times,” said Washington. “Depending on who we play is what’s going to dictate who is out on the floor.”
Penn State (1-0) rounded out its starting lineup with sophomores center Candice Agee and forward Tori Waldner. Agee is listed at 6-foot-6, Waldner at 6-foot-5 and their presence was felt by the Red Flash guard play.
“It’s an opposing front line and in a lot of situations it’s going to help us,” said Washington. “I like our size and at times we can have a really big zone out there.”
St. Francis (0-1) sure kept Penn State on its toes all night with the plethora of outside shooting numbers. Second year coach Joe Haigh made the note that this will be something to see throughout the year with such a small lineup.
“Getting 42 (3-point attempts) up was good, but some of our better shooters didn’t make shots for us,” said Haigh. “We’re going to shoot a lot of 3’s and we knew we weren’t going to get a lot of stuff in the paint [today].”
St. Francis applied the press from the opening seconds and the score reflected that. Penn State had a 17-10 advantage at the first media timeout in the first half.
“We have to exhibit a lot more poise against the press,” said Washington. “When teams press you expect a fast paced game and we like a fast paced game.”
The 27 turnovers by the Lady Lions certainly didn’t sit well after the game with Washington. A number of the turnovers occurred when Penn State tried dribbling through the press in the backcourt.
“A lot of that is inexperience and chemistry,” said Washington. “The more we play together the more those numbers will go down.”
Every Lady Lion that contributed minutes tonight scored except for one. Penn State shot 53% for the game and went 37-43 from the free throw line. The foul situation was so bad that the Lady Lions were in the bonus in the second half at the 12:00 minute media timeout.
St. Francis committed 32 personal fouls and didn’t have as much success as its counterparts on Friday night.
Junior guard Alexa Hayward led the Red Flash with 20 points and senior forward Alli Williams was second with 14. Hayward led the team making six of her 12 three pointers.
Penn State will host Fordham on Sunday at 2 p.m. and you can listen to that game live on ComRadio. It will be the last chance to prepare until Penn State takes on last year’s national champion No. 1 Connecticut on November 17th at home.
Ryan Stevens is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Ryan is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in english. He has been involved with numerous radio shows, play-by-plays, beat writes and producing various Penn State athletics events since his first days of being on campus in the fall of 2012 with ComRadio. Since the fall of 2013, Ryan has been involved with State College’s ESPN Radio 1450 as an assistant producer intern and high school football reporter.
During the summer of 2014, Ryan co-hosted Sports Central with Cory Giger streaming over Altoona, Pa. and State College Pa. markets. Ryan also assisted USA Basketball media coverage in New York for World Cup of Basketball exhibition games.
Ryan was the marketing & communications intern for USA Track & Field at the national office in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the media contact for the 2015 USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships as well as the 2015 National Junior Olympics.