Lady Lions Dominate for First Win
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Lady Lions (1-1) dominated the St. Peter’s University Peahens (0-1) from wire to wire Sunday afternoon, winning 106-50 in their home opener at the Bryce Jordan Center.
In just their second game of the season, having lost to Drexel 83-60 on Friday night in Philadelphia, the Lady Lions won the opening tip-off and scored first. They would never lose their early lead.
Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington described the adjustments as “more of a mental practice” between Friday’s and Sunday’s games in an effort to rest her players while still making progress.
“To see them…playing with a lot more communication, understanding some of our rotations better, and being able to execute better,” Washington said. “I was really pleased to see that transformation happen.”
Penn State shot an incredible 78 percent from the field in the first quarter, hitting seven of 10 three-pointers and jumping to a 39-12 lead after the first 10 minutes. Penn State guard Lindsey Spann was on fire in the first half, shooting eight for 10 from the field with three of those shots coming from behind the three-point line. She finished the first half with 20 points and three assists in just 12 minutes. She would go on to lead all scorers with 31 points, in addition to her four assists and six steals.
Despite leading by a large margin for the entirety of the game, the Lady Lions never let up defensively. The SPU Peahens were held to under 30 percent shooting for the game, and they weren’t able to knock down a three-pointer until after halftime. In addition to their poor shooting, the Peahens turned the ball over 20 times, resulting in 24 points for Penn State.
After jumping out to such a large lead, the Lady Lions began to focus on getting the ball inside for easier buckets without sacrificing the quick pace Washington demanded throughout the game.
PSU starting freshman point guard Amari Carter tallied up nine assists, some of which coming from passes inside to forwards Kaliyah Mitchell and Peyton Whitted, each scoring double-digit points.
The aforementioned pace of game was crucial in Penn State’s win, producing 36 fast-break points and excellent ball movement. At the final buzzer, the Lady Lions had dished out 28 assists to SPU’s nine.
Sunday’s victory was win number 900 in Lady Lions’ program history.
After the game, Washington reflected.
“It’s humbling to be part of such a tremendous legacy,” Washington said. “You think about all the coaches before me and what they have done for this program, what they’ve done for women’s sports at Penn State…just to be a part of that is very humbling and I’m thrilled that I can do my part…to add to this legacy.”
Despite such a decisive victory, Washington shot down the idea of having more “mental practices” as opposed to regular, physical ones.
“The kids will probably want more mental practices from now on,” Washington said. “It’s not happening.”
The Lady Lions will play again on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, where they’ll be hosting the Akron Zips.
Bobby Brown is a junior broadcast journalism major. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.