WBB: Seniors Carry Lions to Win Over Purdue
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Coming into the game separated by just one game in the Big Ten, Penn State and Purdue were ready for a hard fought battle in the Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s senior day. Earlier in the season, the Boilermakers (15-11, 6-6 Big Ten) had dominated Penn State, allowing only 51 points to the Lady Lions which was the Lions’ second lowest of the season. But Penn State (17-8, 7-6 Big Ten) rode solid free throw shooting and good defense to a 79-73 victory. All three seniors got into double figures for the Lady Lions, a fitting end for senior day.
To start the game, it was clear early that Penn State wanted to push the ball up the floor, not allowing the Boilermakers set up in their zone. They were not forcing outside shots, pounding the ball inside instead. The seniors scored 14 of Penn State’s first 16 points. In fact, Penn State’s leading scorer and sharp shooter from the outside, Teniya Page, did not even attempt a shot until six minutes left in the second quarter. But Jaida Travascio-Green hit the team’s first three with a minute left to go in the opening period. This was quickly followed by Amari Carter who hit a three of her own to give Penn State a 24-22 lead after the first quarter.
Purdue uncharacteristically played an impressive first quarter on the offensive end especially from three. The allowed Penn State to get up and down the floor quickly leading to the high scoring initial frame.
The high scoring continued in the second quarter with Purdue pulling ahead behind impressive three-point shooting, hitting five total in the first half. Ashley Morrissette lead the way for the travelling Boilermakers in the first half with 10 points. Penn State was led by senior forward Peyton Whitted who did not miss a shot in the first half, leading to 11 points.
Penn State started the second half on a 7-0 run, erasing the half time deficit. But then the pace was slowed due to many fouls and both teams started to struggle shooting the ball. The defense was clearly ramped up on both sides. Whitted got into some foul trouble, picking up her fourth foul with two minutes left in the third quarter. Penn State went on a field goal draught at the end of the third quarter for the final 6:38 yet were able to maintain the lead behind the great defense and solid free throw shooting.
Penn State finally made a field goal with a three-pointer from Travascio-Green extending Penn State’s lead to five. Penn State was able to achieve this remarkable feat behind getting to the line and taking advantage of those opportunities. But the fourth quarter was still a struggle for the Lady Lions. They made 27 of 34 free throws overall most of which came in the second half.
Teniya Page made 11 free throws by herself with continuous drives into the paint and forcing contact. She was the leading scorer on the night with 24. Penn State slowly built their lead and then used stellar defense and great rebounding to quench any thoughts of a comeback from the Boilermakers. Senior Kaliyah Mitchell led the team in rebounds with 12 on her way to a double-double. Sierra Moore was second on the team with 13 points giving the Lady Lions a complete performance especially by the seniors.
The Lady Lions will return to action next Tuesday, on Valentine’s Day, travelling to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini.
Brian McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism