Lady Lions Stifled by Minnesota Offense
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Carlie Wagner had 23 points and Destiny Pitts added 15 and nine rebounds as the Minnesota Golden Gophers downed the Penn State Lady Lions, 91-71 at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday night.
It was a night to forget defensively for the Lady Lions (10-8, 1-4), as Minnesota (14-4, 3-2) shot 58 percent from the field and 59 percent from three, hitting 10 of its 17 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Gophers came in averaging 85.9 points per game, good for 11th in the nation, and it showed early as they jumped out to a fast start. They led by six after one quarter and led by as many as 19 points in the first half before an Amari Carter jumper at the buzzer pulled the score to 48-31 at halftime.
Minnesota kept rolling in the second half, as the Lady Lions never got closer than 13 points down in the final two quarters. The Gophers dominated the glass as well, grabbing 43 rebounds next to only 30 for Penn State. No Lady Lion had more than five rebounds while three Minnesota players all had seven or more.
Junior guard Teniya Page was a rare bright spot for the Lady Lions, as she totaled 21 points on 8-15 shooting, including 3-6 from downtown. It’s the 10th time this season that Page has scored in double figures and the 64th time in her career.
Once Penn State started to fall behind, shot selection became a little more desperate as the Lady Lions tried to mount a comeback. But it was to no avail considering the team struggled with 3-point shooting all night, only going 6-23 from long range.
Despite the scoreline, Page emphasized that she and the team still go about their offensive game plan, staying aggressive and trying to chip away, even though they simply couldn’t get the offense going tonight.
“I just play the game to take what the game gives me,” Page said. “I don’t necessarily change anything as the game goes on. We don’t change our attack or approach when we’re down.”
As a team, the Lady Lions shot only 39 percent from the field and 64 percent from the foul line, two areas that head coach Coquese Washington stressed as vital for Penn State to be competitive in the Big Ten. They ran into an offensive juggernaut tonight, but it’s not an excuse for the way they shot on the offensive side.
“We struggle with consistency. That’s the thing that’s kind of been a thorn in our side,” Washington said. “Individually and collectively. Players are struggling to find that groove and it rubs off on the whole team. We just have to continue to work on creating a high level of consistency from game to game.”
The Lady Lions return to action Sunday at 2 p.m. at Wisconsin before back-to-back home games against Rutgers and Illinois next week.
Tom Shively is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.