Lady Lions come up short again at home
Strong performances from Tori Waldner and Sierra Moore were not enough for the Lady Lions (6-20, 3-12 B1G) to upset the Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-6, 9-5 B1G) as Penn State fell 85-77. Waldner scored a career-high 16 points with eight boards and four assists. Sierra Moore also had an impactful game with 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
Penn State struggled to defend the three-point line all afternoon. The Golden Gophers made 12 of 22 threes, shooting 54 percent for the game. The Lady Lions switched from zone to man defense multiple times without successfully guarding the perimeter.
“One of our main problems today was lack of communication at times,” said Moore. “When we are communicating and talk, everybody knows what place to be in and everything just flows. When we are silent nobody knows where to go and thats where they get open shots.”
Shayne Mullaney had a couple of massive threes in the second half, always answering Penn State’s runs. Mullaney shot five of six from three and dished out eight assists. The junior finished with 18 points and shot 6 of 11 from the field.
The first half was a hotly contested half. The Lady Lions rebounded well, grabbing six offensive and 16 defensive boards. Penn State only allowed two offensive boards from the Golden Gophers. Waldner played well for the Lady Lions grabbing six rebounds while also pouring in six points in the half. Amanda Zahui was big in the paint for Minnesota grabbing nine boards in the first half. Zahui finished with eight points and 12 rebounds for the game.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half. The Lady Lions managed to shoot 34 percent on 38 shots while Minnesota shot 37 percent from the field on 24 shots. Both teams shot much better in the second half. Penn State finished shooting 45 percent from the field and Minnesota finished at a 43 percent clip.
The Golden Gophers gained their lead from the free throw line. Minnesota took 15 free throws while the Lady Lions didn't get to the free throw line until the second half. The Gophers finished with 24 free throws sinking 17 of them.
Shae Kelley had a big game for Minnesota. The senior forward led the Gophers with 23 points on 19 shots. Kelley also contributed eight rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
Waldner was impressive the entire game. The senior came out on fire in the second half with six quick points. Waldner hit mid-range jump shots and came up with a couple of important offensive boards.
Moore was the catalyst for Penn State’s offense, Sunday. The sophomore repeatedly broke down the defense and found the open man.
“I thought Sierra played a pretty smart floor game,” said Penn State coach Coquese Washington. “We had been talking to our team about taking care of the ball and making better decisions. I think she did that for the most part, picking her spots, driving and looking to score and moving the ball getting people involved. It was one of the reasons we scored as much as we did.”
Moore hit her shots and was one of the reasons why the game was so close.
Lindsey Spann had a rough game for the Lions. Spann finished with just six points on two of eight shooting. The guard was visibly frustrated with Minnesota’s zone and was forced into take some contested jump-shots.
Penn State does not play for a week, visiting Maryland next Monday, February 23.
Tim Alvarez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. You can email him at email@example.com.