Lady Lions Get Back on Track With Win Over Youngstown State

Story posted December 9, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Mike Wszolek

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa-- The Penn State Lady Lions were back in action on Tuesday night in Happy Valley as they ended a four game skid with a 68-51 over previously undefeated Youngstown State.

Coming off of a blowout loss to the University of South Florida on Sunday, the Lady Lions (4-5) got back on track against the Penguins (6-1) and cleaned up some of the errors that were plaguing them during the four game losing streak. Turnovers and slow starts has derailed Penn State so far this season, but the Lady Lions got out to an early lead and took care of the ball, which led them to victory.

“We’ve been trying to focus on getting a better start,” said Penn State head coach Coquese Washington. “We took care of the ball. We were able to get shots early in the game as opposed to turnovers.”

The main story of the Lady Lions’ season has been getting off to slow starts. They didn’t want it to happen again and pushed the pace early in the game. The Penguins got out to an early 7-0 lead and it looked like it was going to be another quiet start for the Lions. However, Penn State’s defense stepped up, and shots started to fall for the offense. Both teams utilized a very quick pace on offense, rarely letting the shot clock tick down below 15 seconds. Penn State ended the first quarter on a 19-2 run and led 19-9 after the opening frame.

The question would be if the Lions could sustain the first quarter momentum into the second quarter, and they did just that. Youngstown State came out flat once again, and Penn State took advantage of some missed Penguins shots and turned them into points. Sarah Cash seemed to be the only problem for the defense in the second quarter, as she scored eight points for Youngstown State. Lindsey Spann’s confidence continues to grow game by game as she kept on this trend, leading all Penn State scorers with 12 points at halftime.

“Just trying to stay aggressive, not to really back off,” said Spann. “Still be aggressive and get into the paint and take advantage of the defense.”

Trailing 35-21 at halftime, Youngstown State wouldn’t go away and put up a fight in the third quarter. Cash scored seven for the Penguins and finished the game with 19 points. The Penguins outscored the Lady Lions by one in the third quarter and cut the Penn State lead to seven with two minutes left in the quarter. The turning point was when Cash picked up her fourth foul, which gave Penn State an opportunity to score some much needed points. The Lions went on a 6-0 run to close the quarter and led by 13 heading to the final quarter.

Penn State was able to jump out to a 21-point lead after starting the quarter on an 8-0 run, which put away the Penguins for good. This was Penn State’s first win since November 22nd. Kaliyah Mitchell recorded her first double-double of the season for the Lady Lions as she finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“It feels good to just get back in the swing of things,” said Mitchell. “It seems like I’ve really got in tune with the game and focused, so I was pretty excited.”

Penn State will go on the road to St. Bonaventure on Saturday, December 12th, when they take on the Bonnies at 1:30 p.m.

“I think we’ve got a pretty confident bunch, and they’re kind of focused on getting ready to perform against St. Bonaventure,” added Washington.

Mike Wszolek is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mewszolek@gmail.com.