Lady Lions Drop Eighth Straight, Fall to Ohio State 69-60
It’s been a sad time for basketball in Happy Valley. One day after the men’s team dropped a crushing overtime loss to Purdue, the Lady Lions followed it up with their eighth straight loss of the season, 69-60, on the road against Ohio State.
One season removed from a Sweet 16 appearance, 2014-2015 has been woeful for Penn State. The Lady Lions (3-15, 0-7 B1G) have yet to win a conference game and have been outscored by their Big Ten foes by a margin of 152 points over a seven game span . Every game has been an uphill battle and things looked even steeper against the Buckeyes without leading scorer Lindsay Spann. Spann was forced out of the action trying to fight off the flu. However, the Lady Lions played one of their closer outings of the season and challenged Ohio State throughout the majority of the game.
How It Happened
The Lady Lions played their most competitive game of the conference slate by holding Ohio State to just 35.8 percent shooting from the field. In a tightly contested, low scoring first half, the teams traded the lead nine different times. With five minutes remaining in the half Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell drained a 3-pointer to break a 24-24 tie and ignite a Buckeye run. The Lady Lions drew fouls late and hit their free throws to keep things close and ended the first half within reach, 36-30.
Penn State’s offense opened the second half flat and Ohio State pushed out its lead to 10 points before a media timeout five minutes into the half. The Lady Lions went another five minutes without a field goal until Kaliyah Mitchell knocked down a three ball to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 12. Mitchell’s shot kicked off an 8-2 run, but after narrowing the lead again Ohio State’s Ameryst Alston scored six straight points and then found Kelsey Mitchell for a jumper to push the lead back out to double digits. Without its leading scorer, Penn State struggled to find the instant offense it needed as time ran out.
Player of the Game
Kaliyah Mitchell was inserted into the starting lineup in Spann’s absence and did what she needed to do to keep her team competitive, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals. She kicked off a late run by Penn State, though it didn’t prove to be enough. Sierra Moore finished with a team-high 16 points and five assists and contributed on the glass with nine boards, but she coughed up eight turnovers. One of her turnovers came with under a minute and a half remaining after the Lady Lions had cut the lead to single digits.
Tweet of the Game
PSU women and men are a combined 0-12 in Big Ten play
— Walt Moody (@wmoodycdt) January 18, 2015
Penn State is shooting just 23.5 percent from behind the arc this season and its long range problems persisted on Sunday going just 1-for-9 (18 percent). Spann’s impact was missed on the offensive end as the Lady Lions struggled to score late.
The Lady Lions continue their quest of that first Big Ten victory on Thursday as they host Indiana. The Hoosiers are 12-5 overall but have struggled within the conference up to this point (2-4).
Photo: Mark Selders
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