Lady Lions Pull Away From Illinois Late In 62-48 Victory
Penn State women’s basketball (9-7, 2-3 Big Ten) defeated Illinois (9-7, 1-4 Big Ten) 62-48 in a Big Ten game on Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Forward Alisia Smith led the Lady Lions’ balanced attack with her second-straight double-double; she scored 14 points and added 11 rebounds. Guards Teniya Page and Siyeh Frazier also chipped in offensively, totaling 13 and 11 points, respectively.
How It Happened
The Lady Lions got off to a poor start on Saturday and paid for it with a, 17-10 deficit after the first quarter. They were a dismal 2-for-12 from the field, but shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line after 10 minutes of play.
Penn State bounced back nicely in the second quarter thanks to an excellent defensive effort. Coquese Washington’s squad held the Illini to just eight points on 4-for-14 shooting throughout the frame, and Penn State’s offense bounced back to score 16 points and make 47 percent of its shot attempts.
With three seconds left in the half, sophomore Alisia Smith added two from the paint to cap off an 11-0 run and put the Lady Lions up by a point entering the break. That bucket was one of six she’d make on Saturday afternoon, and it gave her team a lead it would not relinquish for the rest of the game.
The second half began with Penn State going on a 10-3 run which extended its lead to eight points with 5:24 to play in the third quarter. Illinois went on the beginnings of a run after scoring six straight points, but a Teniya Page three-pointer quickly halted any momentum the Illini developed by the end of the third quarter.
Illinois entered the fourth quarter down by five points, and it managed to keep the game interesting throughout the first five minutes of the final stanza. Penn State led 48-44 with 5:52 to play, but it pulled away with a 12-4 run through the rest of the game.
Siyeh Frazier got the run started with her second three-point bucket of the afternoon before Teniya Page, Karisma Ortiz, Amari Carter, and Alisia Smith combined to score the Lady Lions’ final nine points of the contest.
Illinois only managed to make one field goal try in the final 5:52 of the game; Alex Wittinger’s jump shot with 1:03 to play was the only one conceded by Penn State as it secured its second Big Ten victory of the season and improved to 8-4 at home.
- After shooting 29.6 percent from the field in the first half, the Lady Lion offense came out much stronger in the final 20 minutes of the game. A much better offensive effort overall led Penn State to shoot 50 percent from the field over the course of the third and fourth quarters.
- Alisia Smith had an excellent game while starting at forward on Saturday. She finished with a team high 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field while pulling down 11 rebounds.
- Despite shooting a poor 25 percent from three-point range as a team, the Lady Lions were able to hit some timely shots from deep down the stretch. Siyeh Frazier, Jaida Travascio-Green, and Amari Carter all sank huge threes in the fourth quarter which helped Penn State pull away.
The Lady Lions will host Ohio State for their next Big Ten matchup later this week. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
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About the Author
The Nittany Lions moved up in the rankings for the first time this season.
McClary committed the day after the 2023 White Out.
“It was raining and it was still filling up to the brim in the stadium. Their energy is infectious. And I love them and I appreciate all they do for us.”