Penn State Lady Lions defeat Ohio State 71-56
Sunday afternoon the Lady Lions rallied from as much as 11 points down in the second half to remain undefeated in conference play.
No. 8 Penn State (17-2, 7-0 Big Ten) began the game on a 7-0 run, but the tide quickly turned once Ohio State (11-9, 1-6) turned up its defensive intensity. After the Lions’ 7-0 run to start the game, the team went eight straight possessions without a field goal, which sparked an 11-0 run for the Buckeyes of Ohio State.
It would remain a story of frustration for the remainder of the first half for the Lions, but Penn State head coach Coquese Washington told GoPSUsports.com after the game that the team just didn’t have it in the first half.
“Sometimes with these kids, especially on the road, it has to come from within,” said Washington. “When we are at home you have the external factors of the crowd, the band, and all of that kind of stuff that can get you going. When you’re on the road you’ve got to find a will within to win, to want to focus, talk, and to be successful. We didn’t have it at the level that we needed to have it in the first half.”
However, it would be a much different story in the second half. After a quick bucket to start the half for the Buckeyes, the Lions went on an 11-0 run to knot the game dead even at 39. Then, after the Buckeyes regained a two-point advantage, Penn State was at it again with a 9-0 run taking full control of the game, 48-41.
From there on out, the Lady Lions looked like the eighth best team in the country at both ends of the floor completing the comeback for a 71-56 victory. The Lions’ comeback was due in large part to junior guard Maggie Lucas finally finding her rhythm from the floor notching 14 of her total 18 points in the second half.
The Lions also got received contributions from senior guard Alex Bentley, 16 points, and senior forward Nikki Greene who registered a double-double for the game with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite, being down by nine points at halftime, the Lions found their rhythm and Washington stated the energy was far different as the team came out in the second half.
“The first half I felt like we just didn’t play together on either end of the floor and that was the most effective adjustment we made going into the second half,” said Washington. “Playing together more at both ends of the floor, communicating more, rotating quicker. We had a lot more energy in the second half and that allowed us to execute the game plan.”
As Penn State looks to keep their unbeaten streak in the Big Ten alive they will remain on the road as they travel to Wisconsin this Thursday night to play a struggling Badger team that is 9-11 on the year and 1-6 in Big Ten play. That game is set to tip-off in Madison, WI at 8 p.m. EST.
Sean Flanery is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.