Lady Lions Blasted Out Of Big Ten Tournament By Michigan
After its first round win against small-fry Illinois, Penn State women’s basketball (16-15, 6-10 Big Ten) was blown out once again by Michigan (22-8, 10-6 Big Ten) by a score of 77-48 in the second round of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament after the Wolverines had 20-plus point efforts from Katelynn Flaherty and Hallie Thome.
How It Happened
The Wolverines struck first, but Penn State made them earn every bucket in the quarter with tough defense. Teniya Page, hero of the Illinois game, didn’t score at all in the first quarter, but some members of the supporting cast made their marks. Alisia Smith and Siyeh Friazier led the bench while Amari Carter took control. But while they were able to score, the shooting was streaky at best. Tight defense was the only reason things weren’t overly in Michigan’s favor as they took a 15-10 lead into the second quarter.
While Page would finally get on the board with a layup near the start of the second quarter, everything else shifted towards Michigan. The tough first quarter defense let up and found itself taken advantage of. Jaylen Williams, who finished the game with six (!) blocks, was one of the few constants in a collapsing Lady Lion defense. Page was the only Lady Lions to find something of a scoring stoke as the rest of the team shot poorly, including less than 15 percent from three-point land. With this sudden shift to poor play for the Lady Lions, the Wolverines would take a 32-20 lead into halftime.
The third quarter saw Michigan really get rolling against a free-falling Penn State squad. Katelynn Flaherty and Hallie Thome were a monster duo for the Wolverines. They’d go on to score 21 and 22 points, respectively — nearly outscoring the entire Penn State team by themselves. It was utter domination from the Wolverines on both ends, no Penn State player was able to get more than four rebounds or three assists. Things looked grim for Penn State as they stared a 53-33 deficit in the face.
The fourth quarter would be the worst yet for Penn State as Michigan was able to stretch its lead to 30. Things continued to implode on both ends. The defense was nonexistent and their shooting was dreadful, especially from Carter and Page. While they were able to get up to 36 percent from the field, they continued to shoot blanks from deep. Michigan cruised to a 77-48 victory with some late Carter buckets preventing Michigan from keeping a 30-point lead.
Player Of The Game
Hallie Thome | Center | Junior
The Wolverine was a force for her team, grabbing nine boards and two blocks to go with her 22 points. She also nabbed Player of the Game last time the two teams met. Clearly Penn State has issues with 6’5 centers.
The Lady Lions conference tournament hopes are over and the probability of making the Big Dance next to non-existent. A WNIT spot may not be out of the question, but still isn’t likely. Selection for the tournaments is on March 12.