Lady Lions Rally Past UMES

Story posted December 12, 2011 in Sports, CommRadio by Breanna Jacobs

The Penn State Lady Lions (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) won their fifth straight home game Sunday, 76-51 against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Lady Hawks (2-5) at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Lady Lions struggled both offensively and defensively during the first half of the game. The team was trying to play a quick offense, which led to turnovers and missed shots, including a three point shot missed early by sophomore guard Maggie Lucas, who leads the Penn State team in scoring with an average of 18.4 points per game.

“I have a pretty short memory when it comes to shots,” Lucas said. “If I miss, I’m just thinking about the next shot I’m going to take so, you know, I’m going to miss shots and I’m going to make shots.”

Although she struggled early on, Lucas scored the first points of the game, sinking a free throw after being fouled by Chelsea Sanders. Lucas led the team in scoring against UMES. She made six of her 14 attempted field goals and three of her seven attempted three point shots, scoring a total of 20 points. She also led the team with three steals and five rebounds.

Junior guard Gizelle Studevent made an impact on the Lady Lions’ offense as well. Studevent scored a season high eight points. She also hit the 100-career points milestone.

Junior forward Nikki Greene also had an outstanding offensive performance. Although Greene struggled with foul trouble last season and early this season, she has remained focused the past few games. Against UMES, she scored 13 points, had four rebounds and blocked three shots.

“I just think she’s becoming more confident in herself,” said head coach Coquese Washington about Greene. “She’s putting in work in practice. I think the game is slowing down for her, so she’s able to get the ball and do the things in the games that she’s doing in practice.”

“She’s always had nerves and, you know, game day anxiety, if you want to call it that,” Washington said. “That prevented her from playing as well on game day as she has in practice and now she’s just, I think she’s just comfortable and confident out there on game day.”

Although the ball handling was sloppy, the Lady Lions were able to regain their offensive composure during the second half of the game. The score was tied on three separate occasions during the first half, and the lead changed four times, but the Penn State team was finally able to create a large scoring gap.

Defensively, however, the Lady Lions still struggled. The team often left wide scoring lanes open, making it easy for UMES players to get to the basket. They also struggled with getting rebounds.

“The guards, we need to keep people from running in,” Lucas said.

“I didn’t think we played particularly smart defensively and I didn’t think we had enough effort blocking out,” Washington said about the struggling defense. “We have to have a better effort to block out.

“A lot of it is the perimeter players running in. We have to do a better job with that,” Washington said.

As the season progresses, and with over a week until their next game, Washington, as well as her players, are looking to make improvements on both sides of the ball.

“We’ve got to continue to get better defensively, and we’ve got to get better rebounding,” Washington said. “We’ve got to become more consistent with our efforts rebounding.”

“We have to continue to get better with our decision making,” said Washington. “We had way too many turnovers tonight, I thought, which is a sign of not making great decisions.”

The Lady Lions will host Wagner Sunday, December 18 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Coverage on ComRadio will begin at 1 p.m.

Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: byj5032@psu.edu.