Lady Lions Basketball Cruises Past California (Pa.) 84-58 In Exhibition Game
Coming off a 6-24 2014-15 season that saw the Lady Lions miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years, Penn State women’s basketball team is looking to have a bounce back season in 2015-16. The Lady Lions were open to the public for the first time this year, defeating the defending Division II NCAA Champions, the California (Pa.) Vulcans, 84-58 in an exhibition game.
How It Happened
Playing four 10-minute quarters as a part of the NCAA’s new rule for women’s basketball, the Lady Lions got off to a sluggish start in the opening minutes of the first quarter, but lot of the credit goes to a California team that came out ready to prove itself against Penn State. Even while being out rebounded by the Lady Lions 31-17, the Vulcans kept things relatively close only facing an 11-point 39-28 deficit at halftime.
One of the reasons for Penn State’s lead was the balanced scoring attack of Coquese Washington’s squad. Kaliyah Mitchell, Peyton Whitted, and UConn transfer Brianna Banks all scored in double figures, with Mitchell also pulling down 10 rebounds to complete a double-double in just the first 20 minutes.
The Lady Lions came out of halftime hot, going on a 16-7 run in the opening five minutes of play, giving themselves a comfortable 55-35 lead halfway through the third quarter. Penn State continued to use its size to its advantage by dominating the glass, and making things difficult for California around the basket. With players like Whitted, Mitchell, and freshman Ashanti Thomas controlling the paint, the Lady Lions’ lead grew to 25 as they headed into the fourth quarter up 63-36.
After dominating the third quarter, the outcome was never in question for the Lady Lions, but Penn State continued to keep its foot on the pedal, racing out to extend its lead to 76-43. As the clock hit triple zeroes, the Nittany Lions were victorious over California 84-58.
Player Of The Game
There were a number of Lady Lions that played well, but guard Brianna Banks was spectacular in her first game as a Lady Lion. The UConn transfer had 20 points her in debut, and played a consistently strong game from start to finish in the victory.
The Lady Lions will open their regular season at 6 p.m. on November 13 when Holy Cross visits the Bryce Jordan Center.
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