Penn State (15-8, 5-6 Big Ten) traveled to Evanston for a showdown with Northwestern on Sunday. The Wildcats (17-6, 6-4 Big Ten) had lost just one of their last five after starting conference play 1-2 with Naismith Player of the Year nominee Nia Coffey leading the charge. The Lady Lions, however, would go on to grab their first road win of the conference slate 74-58.
How It Happened
A strong defensive effort in the first quarter of play got Penn State off on the right foot against one of the best teams in the Big Ten. The Lady Lions had scorers across the board to finish up the opening quarter with a 17-15 lead.
The Lady Lions started the second quarter with the same defensive tenacity they had in the opening 10 minutes, but offensive struggles kept Penn State from pulling away. Northwestern’s success from distance and persistent turnovers from Penn State allowed the Wildcats to take the lead with just a few minutes left in the half, but a 7-0 run down the stretch brought the Lady Lions to halftime with a 31-30 lead.
Penn State and Northwestern stayed quiet on the offensive end for much of the second quarter until back-to-back made jumpers from Jaida Travascio-Green and Teniya Page pushed the Lady Lions to their largest lead of the game at seven before the media timeout with just more than four minutes left in the third.
Teniya Page found her groove in the third quarter of her homecoming after not hitting a shot in the first half. The Chicago native worked her way into double digits to push Penn State’s lead to 52-40 heading into the fourth.
Penn State pushed its lead to as many as 15, but Northwestern started to find a groove as the quarter went on. It didn’t help that the Lady Lions had low post players Ashanti Thomas and Kaliyah Mitchell as well as guard Sierra Moore were in foul trouble for most of the second half.
In the face of adversity, Penn State returned to form as it pushed the lead to 17 in the next several minutes — forcing Northwestern to take a timeout. Penn State took care of business down the stretch to earn a 74-58 win over the Wildcats.
Player Of The Game
The Entire Team
It took a complete team effort for the Lady Lions to earn a major win on the road against one of the best in the Big Ten. Five Lady Lions finished in double figures, the Penn State bench outscored Northwestern’s 23-7, and the Lady Lions won just about every stat category en route to the victory.
The Lady Lions are back at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers live on BTN Plus at 7 p.m.