Penn State women’s basketball (10-8, 1- 4 Big Ten) had its hands full with a high-scoring Minnesota team (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten) on Wednesday night. The Golden Gophers’ hot shooting contrasted with the Lady Lions’ poor shooting gave Minnesota an advantage for most of the game. New men’s soccer head coach Jeff Cook made an appearance during the first quarter and stayed for the game.
How It Happened
The Lady Lions looked sluggish out of the gate, settling for a series of missed jumpers while the Golden Gophers ran out to an early 8-0. A timeout by head coach Coquese Washington allowed the Nittany Lions to regroup, as Siyeh Frazier answered with Penn State’s first points of the game. The well-oiled Minnesota machine started to crack, giving away turnovers and letting the Lady Lions work their way into the game.
But whenever the Gophers weren’t turning the ball over, they were scoring it.
Three-point shots and open mid-range jumpers were falling for the sharpshooting Gophers while the Lady Lions struggled to score consistently. Penn State had success in the post, with Jaida Travascio-Green, DeJanae Boykin, and Jaylen Williams all outworking Minnesota with smart and athletic moves to remain within striking distance at the end of the first quarter, trailing 25-19.
Minnesota kept on rolling in the second quarter. Shooting a remarkable 70% from the field and 75% from three, the Golden Gophers were too strong for the Lady Lions to contain. They even began outworking Penn State in the post, establishing a lead in the rebounding category and finding their touch around the rim.
Despite Penn State showing some signs of life at the end of the first quarter, the Gophers kept going at it. Penn State would end the quarter going 0-7 on their last shots of the second quarter before a near buzzer-beater from Amari Carter gave the Lady Lions some much-needed points. Minnesota took 48-31 lead into the locker room the half, after outscoring Penn State 23-12 in the second quarter.
More of the same was seen from both sides as the third quarter started. Penn State struggled on all ends, especially in finding consistency on the offensive end. Shooting just 34% from the field and 18% from three dug Penn State into a deep hole that it struggled to escape all night. Even when Minnesota’s offense calmed down in the second half, it was still shooting 58% from the field and 64% from deep.
Penn State also struggled from the free throw line, going just 6-12. Minnesota opened up a 70-47 lead at the end of the third quarter, but another near buzzer-beater, this time from Teniya Page, made the deficit just a tad less worse as the Lady Lions were still down 21 at the start of the fourth. Despite key play from Kamaria McDaniel and Page in the fourth quarter, Minnesota still proved too good to catch up to and the Lady Lions took another conference loss at home, 91-71.
Player Of The Game
Teniya Page | Junior | Guard
A solid outing from the Chicago native as she helped keep Penn State from falling any further down the stretch by posting 21 points, four assists and going 3-6 from three.
The Lady Lions will go back on the road as they travel up north to take on Wisconsin. The game will be in Madison on January 14 at 2 p.m.