WBB: Nittany Lions Dominate Wisconsin, Move to 2-4 in the Big Ten
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coquese Washington’s Nittany Lions were cool, calm, and collected Monday night in their matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers. With the team leading scorer Teniya Page struggling from the field, other players stepped up to the plate and capped off the night with a 30 point victory. Ten players contributed to the scoring, with a final score of 76-46 from the Bryce Jordan Center.
Wisconsin opened up in a strong 2-3 defense, swarming the ball and forcing the Nittany Lions to settle for the outside shot. Ashanti Thomas pulled down two offensive rebounds on the opening drive, putting Penn State on the board first.
The Nittany Lions continued to see a slow start offensively, but managed to finish off the first quarter strong, going 4-5 from the field. Lindsey Spann and Page led with five points each.
Page, a sophomore, has been making the biggest impact thus far this season, reaching double figures in 39 of her 47 career games. Though struggling from the field tonight, she managed to still make an impact by spreading the floor and pushing the ball in transition. The Nittany Lions tied the score at the end of the first 18-18.
“We start two freshmen and two sophomores and I think sometimes it takes them a while to adjust to the game and to get a feel for how the game is going and what their opponent is going to be doing,” Washington said. “We settled down a little bit and were more disruptive defensively which led to points in transition.”
Turnovers began to plague the Wisconsin offense in the second quarter, allowing the Nittany Lions to convert and put another 18 points on the board. Penn State went on a 6-0 run in both the middle of the quarter and at the end with help from redshirt senior Sierra Moore. Moore added five points off the bench and the Nittany Lions went into the locker room leading 36-26.
Scoring continued around the horn for Penn State to open the third quarter. Eight players were able to put points on the board and go on a 9-0 run during the final minutes of the third. The Penn State bench put up 36 on the night, holding Wisconsin’s bench to a measly 15.
“We really emphasize and try to take advantage of a set defense,” Washington said. “It’s critical that we get contributions from everybody. We play at our best when we don’t rely on one or two people to score.”
Spann provided the biggest spark off the bench going 3-6 from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions went 29% from three point range on the night.
On the other end of the floor, the man-to-man defense from Penn State proved to be too much for the Badgers. With length coming from the trio of Peyton Whitted, Thomas, and Jaylen Williams, the Nittany Lions forced 22 turnovers.
“We played a lot more man tonight and we were more aggressive,” Coach Washington said. “We did a good job of defending without fouling.”
Penn State pulled further away in the fourth quarter, showing strength at the boards and in transition. Kaliyah Mitchell and Moore led the team in rebounds with nine and six respectively, and the team put up 23 points in transition.
“One of our emphasis for the game was to rebound and run,” Spann said. “The guards were able to put it up and find people down the floor."
The Nittany Lions are set to take on Nebraska Thursday at 7:00 pm in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Tia Pattillo is a junior majoring in psychology neuroscience. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.