Lady Lions Can’t Shake Slow Start In Loss To Virginia Tech
The Penn State Lady Lions took on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the B1G/ACC Challenge as the Hokies held on for the 64-59 victory. Virginia Tech (6-1) tallied their first ever victory over Penn State (3-4).
The Hokies got out to a fast start and didn’t look back in the first half. Chanette Hicks recorded six points to lead all first quarter scorers while Candice Agee had four of the Nittany Lions’ first twelve points.
The story of the second quarter were turnovers and lack of scoring for both teams. The Lions outscored the Hokies by one in the second quarter, but the problem was that they only scored nine points. The Hokies led by as many as 16 in the first half, but the Lady Lions cut the halftime deficit to 29-21. Lindsey Spann notched 10 first half points.
Turnovers were a big theme in the first half, as both teams combined for a total of 31 first half turnovers. The Lady Lions converted some Hokie turnovers into points, which helped cut the halftime deficit to eight.
Penn State came out with added fire to start the third quarter. The turnovers were diminished, and the shot selection became better. The Lady Lions outscored Virginia Tech 21-15 to pull to within two heading to the fourth quarter.
After tying the game up at 44 early in the fourth, Penn State would never get that close again. Clutch shots by Virginia Tech sealed the win for the Hokies. Vanessa Panousis was key down the stretch, sinking six of her eight free throws in the final minute of the game to ensure a Hokie win.
Briana Banks started for the Lions after sporadic playing time the last three games due to a lower leg injury. Banks’ season became even more frustrating in the second quarter when she hurt her other leg. Spann was a spark off the bench for head coach Coquese Washington, stepping up to score a season high 20 points.
“I come into every game focused and trying to be ready to play,” said Spann. “I kept trusting myself and my teammates. When I was open, I took shots. I’m working on my shot everyday.”
Teniya Page was also a key to Penn State’s success in the second half, where she scored 13 of her 16 points. She controlled the tempo and hit some needed buckets down the stretch, but in the end it just wasn’t enough.
“We’ll be focused on our next opponent,” said Washington. “They will be focused on what do we have to do to improve. So we’ll be ready for Sunday.”
The Lady Lions will travel to Tampa, Florida where they will take on the University of South Florida on December 6.
Mike Wszolek is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.