Lady Lions Start Hot, Run Out of Juice, Fall to No. 17 Hoosiers
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Penn State Lady Lions looked as if they could hold their own against Indiana, as they held the 17th-ranked Hoosiers to just a one-point lead through two quarters. But the Lady Lions did not look like the same team in the second half, eventually falling to Indiana 76-60.
Indiana went on a 14-2 run to start the second half, and there was no looking back from there. The Lady Lions looked lifeless on the court as they shot an abysmal 29.4% from the floor in the third quarter and had little to no answer for the Hoosiers offense. Penn State went on to get outscored 50-26 in the paint and had only 22 points in the entire second half.
Kamaria McDaniel led all scorers on the day with 24 points, and Siyeh Frazier added an extra 14 for the Lady Lions, but they were two of only six players to even score for Penn State.
The Lady Lions had just eight total assists on the game, and head coach Carolyn Kieger expressed her frustration with this.
“Obviously the eight assists are the key,” Kieger said. “Kamaria can’t take 23 shots and go 9-for-23.”
Kieger also spoke on the Lady Lions’ unwillingness to fight back after having the tide turned on them in the second half.
“We have to get better, absolutely,” Kieger said. “We come out flat in the third quarter, adversity hits, and we give up.”
This was apparent to every fan at the game as well, as it seemed all wind had left the Lady Lions’ sails after Indiana’s 14-2 run.
This has been a trend for Penn State. The Lady Lions continue to prove that they can hang with other Big Ten opponents with hot starts, but they often have not been able to put it together in the second half.
Despite her performance, McDaniel looked visibly upset after the game. The junior guard spoke about how she felt it was not so much the game plan but rather the lack of effort or “juice,” as the team often refers to it.
“Definitely [put more blame] on the intangibles, the effort, the juice,” McDaniel said. “We lacked that in the second half, and that was the difference.”
Kieger continued to not point the finger at her players but instead back at herself. She believes the attitude on the court begins at the top and trickles down to the players.
“It’s a complete program thing,” Kieger said. “At some point, we can’t have the same mistakes over and over. It starts with me. I’m the boss, I’m the leader. Every loss goes on my plate, and everything that goes wrong with my team is all on me.”
The Lady Lions will hope to move on past this loss as they play again on Sunday at Purdue.
Ben Mooney is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.