Lady Lions Win First Home Game of Season, Defeat Fordham 72-59
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State recorded its first home win of the 2019-20 season Wednesday night, as the Lady Lions defeated Fordham 72-59, improving their record to 2-1. It was the 950th win in program history, giving the team a 950-482 all-time record. It also marked head coach Carolyn Kieger’s first home win at Penn State.
The Lady Lions needed to bounce back after suffering an eight-point loss to Rider at home on Sunday. Despite senior guard Siyeh Frazier and junior guard Kamaria McDaniel’s 15-point performances, the Lady Lions suffered their first loss of the season.
Penn State knew that it had to improve its game heading into the matchup with Fordham. The Lady Lions made free-throw attempts a priority, as they now sit in the top 10 in the country in that category. The emphasis on free-throw attempts was evident Wednesday, as the Lady Lions dominated Fordham, shooting 21 free throws and converting 15 (71.4%), while the Rams only shot four and made three (75%). Free throws happened to be the difference, as the Nittany Lions scored 15 points at the stripe and won by 13.
Kieger discussed the importance of free throws in order to succeed in her system.
“I’ve always had a goal as a coach to make more free throws than the opponent attempts,” Kieger said. “For me, that is pushing pace, that’s playing up-tempo, that’s attacking the rim with velocity and with purpose.”
While free throws helped the Lady Lions secure the victory over Fordham, big days from Frazier and McDaniel helped as well. Frazier recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds while securing five steals along the way. McDaniel scored 18 points in the effort to help push the Lady Lions past Fordham.
A breakout performance from freshman forward Anna Camden also gave the Lady Lions the spark they needed to rally. Camden, who averaged two minutes per game before Wednesday night, went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc on her way to scoring 14 points. She also recorded three blocks on the defensive end. Camden’s lights-out shooting and calculated shot-blocking earned her 21 minutes off the bench.
“There were some things I needed to fix of my game before I got my minutes up,” said Camden. “I’ve been working with my coaches a lot, and I felt prepared. I was excited. I knew once I got into the game, I could hit those shots.”
The defense played a huge role in the Lady Lions’ victory. As a unit, the Lady Lions recorded 22 defensive rebounds (34 total), six steals and five blocks, while also forcing 11 turnovers.
This matchup against Fordham was the second game of a five-game home stretch for the Lady Lions. Next up for Penn State is La Salle on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
Sean Barron is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.