Penn State Collapses to La Salle

Story posted November 18, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Donaldson

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Lady Lions fell to 2-2 after their brutal 69-67 loss to La Salle on Sunday.

The Lady Lions were in control for the majority of the game, being up by 20 points at one point, but completely fell apart in the fourth quarter.

Kamaria McDaniel was a bright spot for Penn State. She scored a career-high 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting, and the Explorers didn’t have much of an answer for her all game.

But McDaniel said that the career high doesn’t mean much because her team lost.

“I came into the game expecting to win,” McDaniel said. “Whatever that looked like, that is what I was willing to do, and we came up short, so it really doesn’t matter to me.”

Next to McDaniel’s impressive performance, the constant pressure that Penn State was putting on La Salle is what had Penn State up big for the bulk of the contest. A fast-paced style of play and press defense allowed the Lady Lions to control the tempo for most of the game, and it boded very well for them.

It was especially effective in the second quarter, when La Salle’s offense could barely get anything going. Penn State was up 20 at halftime.

However, that expression of urgency dwindled in the fourth quarter, where the Explorers began to control the pace, and the Lady Lions gave up 33 points. That’s 18 more points than they allowed in any other quarter.

Lady Lions head coach Carolyn Kieger said that the loss is on her.

“I’m the head coach of the team and I’ve got to coach a better game,” Kieger said. “I’ve got to get my players ready to play ball, and we’ve got a lot to fix.”

Kieger also spoke on the fourth quarter collapse and said that it was mainly attributed to effort, discipline and heart.

“We’ve got to learn how to have the heart, and the discipline to pull out a win,” Kieger said. “I think that’s going to be the hardest thing with this turnaround, if you want to call it that, or this change of culture. [I have to] teach them how to be winners and not fear losing, and right now, we fear losing. We’re so used to it, and it’s got to change,” Kieger said.

Kieger even dove into more specifics.

“It’s going to take time for us to get there, but we need to draw two and kick, and we need to learn how to make the extra pass, and we need to learn how to take uncontested shots versus contested shots,” Kieger said. “How many of our shots in that second half were contested and ill-advised? And that’s youth, and that’s also pressure, and that’s also fearing losing. When you get tight, you cannot play basketball, and you can’t think, and I think that’s what happened.”

Kieger also mentioned how the Lady Lions aren’t typically going to win games when they only have 6 assists compared to 20 turnovers.

Along with the assist-to-turnover ratio, there were many other statistics in the box score that don’t prove promising when trying to win a basketball game.

Penn State shot an awful 2-for-20 from 3-point range, and, although the Lady Lions grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, they also gave up quite a few. La Salle had 43 rebounds as a team compared to Penn State’s 38, and 17 of those were offensive. Shalina Miller’s rebound with 10 seconds remaining in the game led to the game-winning bucket for the Explorers.

Kieger will be looking to implement some of the changes she talked about, as the Lady Lions will look to bounce back versus Clemson on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m.

 

Zach Donaldson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zach.donaldson1@gmail.com.