Wild Finish Caps Stellar Night for Page

Story posted January 18, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Tom Shively

Wild Finish Caps Stellar Night for Page

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Leading by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Penn State Lady Lions appeared to have a conference victory well in hand, but the visiting No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights had other ideas.

The Lady Lions (12-8, 3-4 Big Ten) eventually pulled out a 70-67 win over Rutgers (17-4, 5-2), but it wasn’t without drama in the final seconds.

Rutgers, despite trailing 61-50 halfway through the final quarter, went on an 8-0 run to take a 65-64 lead with just over a minute left to play in the game. It was the first lead of the second half for the Scarlet Knights.

However, it didn’t last long as an Amari Carter layup with 56.9 seconds remaining gave the lead back to the Lady Lions.

Rutgers responded quickly with a mid-range jumper from Tyler Scaife to regain the lead, and that’s when the real chaos started.

Teniya Page missed a would-be go-ahead jumper with 30 seconds to play, but Jaida Travascio-Green snared the offensive rebound to give the Lady Lions one final possession with the shot clock off.

The Scarlet Knights played excellent defense, denying Page from getting anything going towards the basket, and a deflection out of bounds almost gave the ball back to Rutgers. But with 3.8 seconds to play, Penn State kept possession and had time for the last shot.

Teniya Page took the inbounds pass off a screen and took a couple dribbles before pulling up for a three that landed well short of the basket. But she was fouled on the play, which led to three free throws with only one second remaining on the clock.

This led to an outburst from the Rutgers sideline, and the head coach was assessed a technical foul on the play, meaning two more free throws for Page. She sank four of the five to give Penn State a 70-67 lead.

A desperation heave from Rutgers hit the front of the rim and bounced out, and the Lady Lions were finally able to secure a much-needed victory over a top 25 team.

“I was a little upset that they got that shot off. Teniya actually tried to miss that last free throw, but that’s the kind of night she had,” Penn State head coach Coquese Washington said.

And it was quite the night for Page, who had 34 points to lead all scorers. It’s a season-high for Page, and only one point short of the career high for the junior point guard. Her poise as a scorer helped her stay calm in the final sequence of events.

“I told myself at the beginning of the play that I just needed to make one free throw. When they told me I had five, I wasn’t really worried,” Page said.

The win gives Penn State back-to-back victories for the first time in conference play and ends what had been somewhat of a cold streak especially in close games.

“I think that because we’ve had so many close games, we had a lot of poise in those moments,” Washington said. “We weren’t really nervous or anything like that. It was really neat to see us be able to execute when we needed to.”

 

Tom Shively is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email shivelyt97@gmail.com.