Lady Lions Fall Short Against No. 4 Tennessee, 74-66
The Lady Lions headed to Rocky Top in Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the No. 4 Lady Vols in the team’s third game of the season. Both teams came in undefeated, but that’s where the similarities end. The Lady Vols, representing one of the most iconic programs in all of college basketball, came into the matchup fresh off a 100 point performance despite playing only six players. The Lady Lions fought hard for four quarters and nearly upset the Tennessee, but the Lady Vols were able to put the game away in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
How It Happened
The first half was filled with back and forth action from both teams, both offensively and defensively. Brianna Banks, Penn State’s leading scorer, went down in the first quarter with an ankle injury, but the Lady Lions did not falter. Kaliyah Mitchell had the hot hand in the first quarter, hitting shots from the midrange and on the fast break to boost morale after losing Banks.
The Lady Vols put up 35 points in the first half thanks to the play of veteran Bashaara Graves, but conceded up a high number of turnovers. Both teams struggled in the foul category, and gave up a number of careless fouls offensively and defensively. The Vols seemed surprised by the quick defensive zone of the Lady Lions, allowing 30 first half points as they headed into the locker-room.
The second half featured the signature Lady Lion defense at work yet again. They limited offensive execution, keeping the Lady Vols in check on the glass. Peyton Whited came out firing in the second half, lighting up the stat sheet in every way she could. Whited saved some of her best basketball for one of the best teams in the nation, while the Lady Lion backcourt led the offensive charge. Ultimately, the Lady Vols put the Lady Lions away by a score of 74-66, but were tested throughout. Penn State was resilient against one of the toughest teams in the country.
Player of The Game
Payton Banks and Teniya Paige both made plays on both sides of the floor keeping the Lady Lions neck and neck with the Lady Vols. Whited walked away with a double-double, and Paige put up double figures thanks to hot shooting. Both teammates played an electrifying game against one of the best opponents they’ll see all season, boding well for the rest of the campaign.
The Lady Lions will take on Central Connecticut State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.