Strong Second Quarter Leads To Dominant Lady Lions’ Win

Story posted December 11, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Erik Oakley

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It was a sluggish start on Saturday afternoon for the Lady Lions, but a second quarter in which Penn State (8-2) outscored Pitt (7-3) 25-8 was the springboard that gave them the momentum to a 91-62 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center.

After the first quarter, the game was tied at 19 and Penn State was shooting an abysmal 30 percent from the field. In the second quarter, the Lady Lions showed their strength by out rebounding the Panthers and getting to the free throw line. Penn State beat Pitt on the boards 47-29 and got to the free throw line 25 times compared to Pitt’s three.

“The first quarter was a little slow, we were a little sluggish for whatever reason,” said Head Coach Coquese Washington. “We made a couple of substitutions and it seemed like the energy just took off and once we got going, we were in good shape.”

Penn State’s leading scorer on the season, Teniya Page, was held to just 4-14 from the field for 13 points.

“She had a rough shooting night, by her standards,” said Washington. “It was nothing because everyone else was able to step up and play their role.”

It was Penn State’s Lindsey Spann who led all scorers with 20 points.

“One of our goals tonight was to really play as a team, play as a unit, and I think we really executed that,” said Spann. “Everyone played their role, everyone did what they had to do, whether it was rebounding, energy, or whatever it is, I think everyone did a great job with that.”

After a first quarter where Pitt’s Brandi Harvey-Carr seemed to be scoring at will, a second quarter switch to a zone defense by Penn State and some Pitt foul trouble changed the game.

“When you get in foul trouble, it just messes with you mentally,” said Pitt Head Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. “Players are afraid to get around a post player, they’re afraid to get up and pressure a guard, they’re afraid to drive because they don’t want to get called for a charge. We have to be able to play through those situations.” 

Penn State’s Jaida Travascio-Green was able to add nine points off the bench, going 3-4 from beyond the arc. 

“I wasn’t surprised, she’s a fantastic shooter,” Washington said. “She’s shown in her young career that she’s capable of making big shots and she doesn’t have any fear or hesitation about shooting the ball when she’s open.”

Travascio-Green also made her presence felt on the defensive end.

“The more she’s played, the more confident she’s gotten on the defensive end,” Washington said. “With her length and her size, she’s big in the bag of the zone and quick enough to guard guards, so it’s a nice versatile option at the guard spot.”

Washington was more than pleased with her team’s free throw advantage.

“I think getting to the free throw line that much signifies the power and aggressiveness that we played with and that’s really important for us,” she said.

“Who thought igniting this rivalry was a good idea?” McConnell-Serio joked to begin her press conference.

Penn State has over a week off before hosting American University at the Bryce Jordan Center next Sunday at 2 p.m.

Erik Oakley is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email erikoakley13@gmail.com