Lady Lions Fall To Virgina Tech Hokies 64-59 in Big Ten/ACC Matchup
The 3-3 Lady Lions returned to the BJC after a winless two-game road trip to California to take on the 5-1 Virginia Tech Hokies in a Big Ten/ACC matchup. Despite a gritty comeback and a rough shooting night, the Lady Lions did manage to remain in the game until the final minutes of play due to the strong play of the backcourt. Despite Penn State’s strong comeback attempt, the Hokies were able to maintain the small lead after hitting back-to-back foul shots in the final minute, where they came away with the win 64-59.
How It Happened
The first quarter started off quickly with strong post and transition play from the Lady Lions, but then took a steep dive. The zone proved largely ineffective for Penn State, and the team was giving up points inside and out to the Hokies’ strong play. In addition to the defense showing some holes, the Lady Lions could not put the ball in the basket from anywhere on the court off of a poor shooting performance that tallied 6-23 from the floor in the whole half. A lack of ball movement and 17 (yes, 17) turnovers in the half, the Lady Lions were certainly struggling offensively. The offense struggled so much so that the Lady Lions scored only 13 points until the three-minute mark of the second quarter, and allowed the Hokies to outscore them with 29 points. With the game looking gloomy early on, the final three minutes of the second quarter featured the Lady Lions bringing the score to within eight due to their harassing defense and blazing transition buckets from guards like Lindsey Spann.
The Lady Lions came into the second half chasing after the Hokies, but started off slow with some costly turnovers as well as poor shot selection. They did shred the deficit to only two points by the end of the third quarter due to gritty guard play from Spann, as well as the electric spark of true freshman point guard Teniya Paige who scored eight rapid points in the quarter. The fourth quarter opened up with three pointers as well as fouls being exchanged all around, and the Hokies’ four-point lead steadily remained until the final minute of play. Again, the Lady Lions were chasing both a small deficit and the Hokies, who held on to the tight lead until the final seconds which they maintained through foul shots. The Hokies ended the game winning by a margin of 64-59.
Player Of The Game
No one player gets the honor because no one particular player played a great all-around game. Despite a strong comeback campaign, the team struggled shooting all night, and couldn’t hold onto the rock as it gave up a season high in turnovers.
- The defense either dominates or crumbles. Never in-between. The score line certainly doesn’t show this, but watching the team it isn’t hard to see that when the team is on, it’s on. When it struggles, it struggles mightily. The Hokies missed a high number of shots, but if Virginia Tech was hot from the floor the score would have a much bigger gap between the two teams.
- The Lady Lion backcourt gets better and better every game. Brianna Banks, Lindsey Spann, and Teniya Paige are three very different guards both in age, experience, and in play-style. As the season has progressed, the three seem to gel into roles that serve the team beneficially. The back court will struggle at times making that extra pass or calling a play, but these three players will hit big shots, steal the ball, and even grab some boards if need be. Whether it’s Banks on the fast break, Spann on her soon-to-be signature step-back shot, or Paige hitting a high percentage of shots, these three will continue to grow into their unique roles and get better every game on both sides.
The Lady Lions will head down to Tampa, Florida to take on the USF Bulls Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.