Lady Lions Lose To St. Bonaventure 70-60, Fall To 4-6 On The Season
The Lady Lions (4-5) came off of a decisive 68-51 victory to Youngstown State in the BJC and headed up to upstate New York to take on the 7-2 Bonnies of St. Bonaventure in a Big Ten/Atlantic 10 matchup. The last time the Lady Lions took on the Bonnies was in 2014, where they fell in the final seconds to a heart-breaking buzzer-beating layup. Despite looking for revenge from last year, the Lady Lions came out and played carelessly with the ball, and ultimately gave the game up to the Bonnies due to the lack of offensive execution, as well as a copious number of turnovers.
How It Happened
The Lady Lions opened the game riding the struggle bus from the opening tip. Despite being healthy as a team, Penn State still managed to have a high number of turnovers, missed shots on ill-advised selections, and most shockingly, defensive struggles. Coach Washington shifted to a one-three-one, three-two, and man defense more than once, and despite her best efforts, the team failed to close out on shooters and stop penetration to the basket time and time again. The Bonnies led the Lady Lions by 10 points for nearly the entirety of the first two quarters, as they hit open threes, drew fouls, and made the extra pass when needed. The Lady Lions concluded the first half going on a “mini-run” where Banks was hitting shot after shot. Then the 34-24 lead shrunk to an eight-point lead off of a Lindsey Spann put-back buzzer beater, which seemed to be the only positive highlight for the Lady Lions in the first 20 minutes of play.
Surprisingly, the second half started off even worse than the first. The third quarter featured the Bonnies opening up on a big 16-point run. The Lady Lions’ passing was lackadaisical and careless, and that poor passing caused a plethora of turnovers which ultimately opened up the floor for the opposition as the Bonnies put up a number of fast-break points. The defensive struggles didn’t stop, and neither did the offensive issues. Lacking any rhythm or consistency, it seemed only Brianna Banks and Lindsey Spann could put the rock in the hoop. Spann and Banks actually scored 33 out of the 40 points scored by the Lady Lions until the 3rd quarter ended. The fourth quarter opened up with a late comeback campaign from the Lady Lions that shrunk the Bonnie lead to only four. Less than two and a half minutes later, the St. Bonaventure lead was back up to 11 off of the Bonnies impressive shooting from downtown. The Lady Lions simply couldn’t produce on offense or get stops on defense at the end, and the Bonnies capitalized on each and every Lady Lion mistake, and ultimately came away with the victory 70-60.
The Lady Lions were wildly inconsistent. The team wasn’t out-coached by any means, but were rather out-played in every facet. Rebounding, passing, scoring, and mental edge are aspects of this game that the Bonnies simply dominated against the Lady Lions for 40 minutes. The scoreline may not reveal it, but this game accurately showed the lack of consistency for the team. When the team is confident, it will show on both ends of the floor. When the team is off, it’s really off. The Penn State team that almost upset the No. 4 Lady Vols team would destroy St. Bonaventure, but for whatever reason, the team showed the inconsistency it possesses by falling to a much smaller, slower, and overall not as good team as some opponents they’ve almost routed.
Player Of The Game
Brianna Banks notches this one, as she led the Lady Lions with 26 points in the game. She seemed to be the only one of two players scoring for the Lady Lions the whole game, so much so that she had nearly half of the teams points in the first half.
Up next for the Lady Lions is a home matchup with the Pioneers of Sacred Heart at noon on Dec. 20 in the BJC.