No. 10 Lady Lions Fall to No. 4 Notre Dame
After a very successful weekend in the Bahamas in which the Lady Lions were the victors of the Junkanoo Jam Championship, the team came up short last night against No. 4 Notre Dame, losing 77-67 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Lady Lions were plagued by turnovers and foul trouble. This did not stop Ariel Edwards though, who was the team’s leading scorer on the night with 18 points followed by Dara Taylor who tied her season high with 14 points. Talia East had a career-high 12 points and was the Lions most efficient scorer, shooting 4-for-5 from the field with all four made field goals coming from beyond the arc. But all of that was for naught as the Lady Lions fell to one of the tougher opponents on their schedule this season.
The Lions were able to capitalize off of a sloppy start from the Irish and jumped out to a quick 8-3 lead. Tori Waldner and East started the run for the Lady Lions as Walder hit a jumper followed by a layup before East added a bucket of her own. With fourteen minutes left in the first half, Taylor drained a three that gave Penn State its largest lead of the game, a six-point margin at 13-7.
The Irish came storming back with a strong run of their own, scoring eight straight in just 90 seconds of gameplay to take a 15-13 lead. Freshmen Alex Harris hit two free throws to knot the game up before Taylor helped the Lady Lions regain the lead with a jumper on the next offensive possession.
The Lions were unable to hold onto the slim lead and the Irish went on a dominant 27-6 run to take their lead to 42-23 with just over a minute left in the first half. Edwards and Keke Sevillian responded for the Lady Lions and combined to score five points at the end of the half to cut the lead to 14 at 42-28, but against a strong Notre Dame team that was still a large mountain to climb.
The Lady Lions continued to score and Edwards started the second half with a three to cut the Irish lead to 11. The Irish were not fazed and pushed their lead to 19, 50-31.
The Lady Lions weren’t going to go down without a fight though as they responded with an 11-1 run and cut Notre Dame’s lead in half 52-42. During the drive Edwards had four points, Taylor drained a three a three, and East and Walder each hit two-point buckets as the Lady Lions forced Notre Dame to call a timeout.
The play went back and forth following the time out as both teams scored 12 points each over the ensuin five minutes of play. Maggie Lucas, who had her lowest scoring game of the season, came off the bench with four fouls and hit a three to bring the Lions withwithin nine, the closest they would get for the remainder of the game. The Lady Lions could not cut the deficit any further, with the Irish making seven free throws in the last four minutes of play as they won the game 77-67.
The Lady Lions begin a two-game road trip, first facing Georgetown on Sunday at 2 p.m. and then playing South Dakota State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. They return home to face Texas A&M on Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m.