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Lady Lions Defeat Illinois 76-65 Thanks To Excellent Shooting Performance

Penn State women’s basketball (12-15, 5-11 Big Ten) earned its second straight win Sunday, defeating Illinois (10-18, 2-15 Big Ten) 76-65.

The Lady Lions were in control for all 40 minutes of the game, despite being shorthanded due to injuries yet again. Kamaria McDaniel and Jaida Travascio-Green both had dominant offensive performances, finishing the game with 20 and 19 points, respectively.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions got off to an impressive start Sunday afternoon thanks to lights-out shooting from three-point range. Jaida Travascio-Green initiated this dominant performance by sinking four three-pointers and racking up a total of 14 points in the first quarter.

As a team, Penn State went 6-for-9 from deep in the first 10 minutes of the game, and it ended the first quarter with a comfortable 26-16 lead over the Fighting Illini.

Penn State’s intensity didn’t go away in the second quarter. However, Illinois made some adjustments on the defensive end of the floor, which limited Travascio-Green to two points over the next 10 minutes. The Lady Lions went into the locker room at halftime with a 39-31 lead despite the Illini’s stronger defensive performance.

The Fighting Illini came out ready to battle in the second half and cut its deficit to four points midway through the third quarter. However, Illinois star Alex Wittinger worked her way into some foul trouble and was forced to head to the sidelines. After Wittinger was taken out of the game, Penn State went on a 13-2 run and eventually extended the lead to 19.

Illinois made things interesting again by going on a 12-0 run of its own, this time cutting the lead to 67-60 with a little more than three minutes remaining in the game. The Lady Lions were able to respond to this run by tightening up their defense and killing off the game from the free-throw line. Coquese Washington’s squad secured its second consecutive win after a six-game losing skid.

Takeaways

  • The Lady Lions have a new best friend: the three-point line. After shooting 75 percent from beyond the arc in the first quarter, Penn State remained consistent from deep throughout Sunday’s game. The Lady Lions were able to get themselves out of trouble by sinking clutch three-pointers whenever Illinois cut the deficit to single digits.
  • Teniya Page was sidelined for the second straight game due to an ankle injury. Although her presence was clearly missed on both sides of the floor, other players stepped up in her absence: Kamaria McDaniel, Jaida Travascio-Green, Siyeh Frazier, and Amari Carter all tallied double digits for the Lady Lions.
  • The Lady Lions could use some improvement taking care of the ball, as they had a total of fifteen turnovers throughout the game. This was another reason why Illinois was able to battle back and cut the deficit so many times.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions travel to East Lansing on Wednesday for their next Big Ten matchup against Michigan State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a freshman from Binghamton, New York. She has been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley. She loves ice cream, Penn State sports, and spending time with her two dogs, Coach and Jeter. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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