Lady Lions Show Resilience In Win Over Youngstown State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Despite a hot start from the Youngstown State Penguins, the Penn State Lady Lions showed resilience to rally back in a huge team win.
“I really felt we all played together and everyone took care of their job,” team captain and junior forward Anna Camden said.
Redshirt Senior Chelsea Olson had a hot start for Youngstown State, beginning the game 3-of-3 from the field, going on a single handed 7-0 run to vault the Penguins to an early lead. From there, the Lady Lions shut her down, keeping her scoreless for the remainder of the 1st half and holding her to two points for the remainder of the game.
With 6:05 left in the first quarter, the Lady Lions were down 14-2, before going on a 14-2 run of their own to make it 16-14 at the end of the first.
When asked about the slow start and how they then rebounded, Coach Kieger said she challenged them, going on to say, “I thought we were flat” but that she then told the team to, “pick it up and make sure that we’re doing the little things and focus on the fundamentals,” Kieger said.
From there, the team answered Kieger’s challenge as it was all Lady Lions. They took the lead early in the second quarter and controlled it into the half. Despite the Penguins trimming the lead in the third quarter, the Lady Lions responded scoring 10 points in a little over a minute to get the BJC roaring.
The momentum helped the Lady Lions finish off the Penguins by outscoring them 32-22 in the fourth quarter, and the team walked away with a 78-58 win.
The Lady Lions grossly out shot the Penguins, posting a 49% field goal percentage, in contrast to the Penguins who only saw 28% of shots land.
Kieger accredited this to, “Our defensive gameplan, and to our players having hands up in their face.” Kieger also said the team’s communication, as they talked through screens, was a huge factor in their performance.
Shay Hagans led the Lady Lions on the defensive side with six steals and exited the game to applause from the Penn State faithful. Kieger credited her for her role in the win as she said, “She went on a little stretch by herself that really got us that spark and just ignited our defense, which was great.”
On the offensive side, the team had a very strong output led behind a double double from Camden and a career high 20 points from Leilani Kapinus.
Kieger didn’t shy away from recognizing Camden’s role in the win saying, “She's our captain, she's our vocal leader, and to have her come back and back that up with a double double is huge for her confidence and for the rest of the team as well.”
After the game, Kapinus, a redshirt freshman who missed her first season with injury was visibly excited, but gave the credit to her team saying, “I was just trying to play for them, score for them and make the best play I could.”
Following a big team win that puts the Lady Lions at 6-5, they travel to Duquesne on Saturday, December 18 for a matchup with the 5-6 Dukes.
Dylan Price is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.