Penn State’s Efforts Fall Short versus Rutgers
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Lady Lions put up a valiant effort versus one of the Big Ten’s top teams on Wednesday night. However, in the end, they came up just short.
The Lady Lions fell to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 62-57, and their record drops to 1-5 in conference play and 7-10 overall.
Siyeh Frazier was the game’s leading scorer with 14. Eight of those 14 points came in the fourth quarter, but it proved not to be enough.
Frazier gave credit to her coaches for her standout efforts late in the game.
“It was my coaches; they all had a role in telling me to keep playing and keep attacking,” Frazier said.
As a team, Penn State struggled to find much of a groove on offense for the majority of the game. The Lady Lions shot a dreadful 19-of-51 from the field and turned the ball over 19 times while recording only five assists. Penn State also became susceptible to multiple scoring droughts throughout the game.
“We have to stop trying to do it by ourselves,” head coach Carolyn Kieger said. “We have to stop over-dribbling. We’ve got to get more post touches. We’ve got to get more inside and outside looks... I need to teach them how to make on-time, on-target passes and [limit] time per touch. I think the ball sticks in a lot of our players’ hands, and we’ve just got to get better at that and get rid of some bad habits.”
The Lady Lions did have a solid outing defensively, however.
Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes, who was the Big Ten’s leading scorer coming in, averaging 19.7 points per game, was kept in check. Penn State held Guirantes to a season low 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
Kieger acknowledged this yet still thought that the team’s defensive effort wasn’t quite complete.
“I thought we did a great job on Arella, holding the Big Ten leading scorer to 10 points, but then in the second half, [Rutgers’] posts go off,” Kieger said. “We’ve got to put the whole team together and make sure the guards and the post [defenders] are on the same page.”
For Rutgers, it was Jordan Wallace who stepped up when her team needed it.
Wallace scored all her team-leading 12 points in the third quarter. She scored six straight buckets for the Scarlet Knights and was a force underneath.
Wallace continued to make her presence felt down the stretch, too. She grabbed five of her eight offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, which severely impeded the Lady Lions’ comeback effort.
The Lady Lions had ample opportunity in the closing minutes to take a lead, but they were never able to break the barrier. Wallace providing the Scarlet Knights with plenty of extra opportunities on the offensive glass was one of the main reasons why.
“I thought we made a lot of mistakes there in the last two minutes,” Kieger said. “I think we gave up five offensive rebounds. Obviously, it’s going to be tough to win if you do that. Executing plays at the end, running the options that we draw up and making sure we stay focused and locked in [is our goal]. We’re going to go to Northwestern, and we’re going to practice, and we’re going to fix those late-game scenarios.”
The Lady Lions face off against Northwestern on Jan. 19 and will be seeking to answer their questions and get back in the win column.
Zach Donaldson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.