Jekot Explodes for 24 Points, Lady Lions Secure Second Victory of Season
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Coming off the season-opening 84-45 win against Coppin State, the Lady Lions continued their early season success, defeating Saint Francis 87-54 in front of an empty Bryce Jordan Center.
The first half was a sloppy one, as both teams combined for 23 turnovers. It was an even battle for most of the first 20 minutes, as the Lady Lions led 23-22 with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Senior forward Johnasia Cash got a big run started with two layups, and that run extended to 13-0, giving the Lady Lions a 36-22 lead heading into halftime. The Lady Lions never looked back, as the run ballooned in the second half, reaching 25-6 at one point.
Graduate senior Kelly Jekot led the Lady Lions in scoring, posting 24 points and adding 10 rebounds. Jekot, a transfer from Villanova, is in her first season at Penn State and got this portion of her career off to a quick start.
Cash tallied 16 points and eight rebounds and was a huge reason Penn State dominated the points in the paint battle 54-20.
Head coach Carolyn Kieger’s squad had a rough season last year in her first season as Penn State’s head coach, going 1-17 in the Big Ten and 7-23 overall. But this season has already shown a ton of promise for a turnaround season.
The most noticeable difference so far this season has been the culture change.
“The first thing is culture and unselfish play,” Kieger said. “You can just see how they’re trying to make the right read. They’re trying to take the great shot for Penn State versus the good shot.”
Jekot, who posted her second straight double-double, touched on the culture at her new school.
“These are all coach Kieger’s recruits,” Jekot said. “We have eight freshmen and coach Kieger hand-picked them. It’s no surprise that they’re all trying their hardest and we’re all competing. Everybody wants the same goals. We’re all here to win and turn this program around.”
Penn State held Saint Francis to 54 points after holding Coppin State to just 45 last Wednesday. Coach Kieger was proud of her squad’s defensive effort once again.
“That’s two games in a row that we’ve held an opponent under 35 field goal percent, which has been a big goal for us this offseason,” Kieger said.
The Lady Lions will look to carry over this momentum into their matchup with Rhode Island on Thursday at 6 p.m. in University Park.
Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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