Staggering 38 Turnovers Plunge Lady Lions to Sixth Straight Loss

The Penn State basketball teams are having little luck against Rutgers this season, who join Maryland as Big Ten newcomers.

An incredible 38 turnovers plagued the Lady Lions (3-13, 0-5) as they lost their sixth straight contest, falling to the No. 24 Scarlet Knights (12-4, 3-2) at the Jordan Center 71-51.

Freshman guard Lindsey Spann continued a strong freshman season, scoring 18 points while leading a failed comeback effort. Sierra Moore (12) and Candice Agee (10) also contributed double-digits.

The 38 turnovers are the most for a Penn State team since 1991.

How it happened

Spann started Penn State’s scoring and the Lady Lions were tied with Rutgers after the game’s first eight points. But a rapid 9-2 run up to the midway point of the first half gave the Scarlet Knights a solid lead it would not relinquish.

Rutgers maintained a double-digit lead for much of the game’s first 20 minutes, stifling a young, slumping Lady Lions side.

But Penn State responded with a 10-3 run to close the half. Spann banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Penn State within six, 35-29, at the break.

The Lady Lions came out of the locker room with much of the energy they brought into it. With 18:11 to play, following a pair of Spann foul shots, they trailed by only four.

But the wheels quickly came off. Rutgers used a 14-2 run to regain a 16-point lead, with eight points coming from Tyler Scaife. The lead ballooned to 20 down the stretch, as a hapless home team could not mount one final push.

Player of the game

If there’s any positive out of the Lady Lions slow start to its 2014-15 campaign, it’s that their future looks awfully bright.

Spann, a freshman, is Penn State’s leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points a game while playing over 33 minutes a contest. Against Rutgers, her 18 points paced the team.

Tweet of the game

 As Ben Jones of StateCollege.com so accurately pointed out, turnovers most certainly had an outcome on this basketball game.

Game Notes

It’s been a good year for the conference newcomers, and an awful one for its traditional powers. After Saturday’s loss, Penn State and Michigan State are both winless in conference games, and occupy the Big Ten’s last two spots.

Rutgers (3-2) and Maryland (3-0), which sits in second place, seem to be fitting in nicely.

What’s next

Things don’t get much easier for Penn State. It travels to Nebraska on Thursday for a 7 p.m. meeting with the No. 19 Cornhuskers.

Photo: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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