Lady Lions Miss Star Kelly Jekot, Fall To Northwestern

Story posted January 17, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Trevor Grady

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State came into the game against No. 22 Northwestern missing its star Senior Kelly Jekot, and it showed. The Lady Lions lost 67-50 in a sloppy one.

Northwestern came into the game 3rd in the nation in turnovers per game (10.1), but turned it over 8 times in the first quarter and 22 times in the entire game. The Lady Lions forced a bunch of turnovers, but couldn’t make much of them. They only scored 12 points off of the 22 turnovers.

The Lady Lions were very stagnant on the offensive side of the court. They turned the ball over 27 times themselves, and that felt in large part because they were without Kelly Jekot.

Graduate Senior Kelly Jekot suffered a season-ending leg injury this week in practice. She was the Lady Lions leading scorer, second leading rebounder, and minutes leader. It was very apparent that the offense was unable to get into a flow without her.

Carolyn Kieger spoke on how much the team is going to miss their leader for the rest of the season. “

We got a tall task ahead of us,” Kieger said. “We’ve got to hit the drawing board and figure out how to make up for her scoring, make up for her minutes and rebounding.”

Carolyn Kieger’s squad was out rebounded 41-30 in Sunday’s game. With as bad of a start as they had, the Lady Lions were only trailing 14-10 after the first quarter. But Northwestern finished the first half on a 9-0 run, and went into the half leading 32-18.

The run continued for the Wildcats at the beginning of the second half, as they went on a 11-4 run to open the half. That run was led by Lindsey Pulliam, who scored 17 on the day and added 8 rebounds.

The Lady Lions leaned on their other senior, Johnasia Cash, for most of their scoring. Cash posted 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Penn State will certainly have a long road ahead of them without  Jekot, but Coach Kieger is optimistic about the opportunity for others.

“I think it’s obviously going to create opportunities for others to have more experience,” Kieger said. “We’re going to have to get our guards to understand how to command and direct, Kelly did a lot for that.”

The Lady Lions fall to 4-6 on the season and 1-6 in Big Ten play. They are back in action against Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.