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Lady Lions Steamroll Bryant In 96-33 Victory

Penn State women’s basketball (4-0) absolutely destroyed Bryant (2-2) on Friday night in a 96-33 victory.

The massive victory set a number of milestones for the Lady Lions, including their most points scored and fewest points allowed this season.

How It Happened

Penn State led off the scoring, as Alexa Williamson sunk a layup under the rim and two free throws a moment later. Bryant responded with two free throws of its own, but a nice steal by Ali Brigham and layups from Johnasia Cash and Taniyah Thompson boosted the Lady Lions’ early lead.

The Lady Lions continued to control the first quarter, and while they shot poorly early on, the team improved rapidly and finished the quarter with a 52.4% field goal percentage. A respectable 10 points from Williamson boosted the offense throughout as the team led 28-7 at the end of the quarter.

A tight defense helped Penn State early on. It held Bryant to just 18.2% accuracy from the field, and three times in the opening 10 minutes the team grappled for balls already comfortably secured by Bryant’s players, winning the ball twice.

Penn State stayed hot to start the second quarter. Makenna Marisa drained two straight threes early on as part of an 8-2 run in the opening two minutes of play. With less than 12 minutes played in total, Williamson and Marisa each scored 12 points. Four other scorers had also combined for 12 points.

The Lady Lions seemed unstoppable in the first five minutes of the second quarter. They sunk their first six field goals and scored on all but one possession. Meanwhile, Bryant had given up the ball five times and scored just seven points.

As stunning as Penn State’s offense was, the defense was even more remarkable. The Lady Lions were playing their tightest coverage of the year, which is saying something. The team generated seven steals in the second quarter and 12 across the whole first half. While the Bulldogs’ offense was improving little by little, it wasn’t enough to break through.

By the time the buzzer sounded for the end of the first half, the Lady Lions had all but locked in their win, leading 51-18. The only challenge now was how many points they would score and if the team could fulfill head coach Carolyn Kieger’s promise of being a 90-point team.

The Lady Lions looked comfortable to open the second half, scoring seven points in the opening three minutes. Meanwhile, Bryant was held to a scoreless drought of 4:54, a continuation of the 2:29 drought from the second quarter.

Scoring was evenly spread throughout the third quarter between the Lady Lions. Nine different players scored, while none had more than four points. Defensively, the team was locked in. The Bulldogs scored just three points in the entire quarter, two from an open layup and one from a free throw. With 10 minutes remaining, Penn State was up 73-21.

By the fourth quarter, both sides were comfortable with the result. The Legion of Blue had begun to cheer for Bulldogs’ baskets and not its own.

Admittedly, Penn State became a little sloppy early on. For a brief moment, Bryant had outscored the Lady Lions in the fourth quarter while they made some bad passes, but they pulled it together soon after.

With 2:28 left in the game, Kayla Thomas sunk two free throws, the first of which put Penn State at 90 points scored while the team led 91-33. From there, both sides closed out the game, and the Lady Lions rolled onto a 96-33 win.

Takeaways

  • Dominance is the only way to describe this performance. From the first tip, it was apparent which team was better. It was always just a matter of how big the gap would be.
  • Aggregate across its first three games, Penn State had won its turnovers battles. Friday night was a different animal, though While the Lady Lions gave up 17 turnovers, they generated a whopping 33.
  • Kieger had been looking for a statement win before the Lady Lions got into more serious play, and Friday night provided just that. Heading into a matchup against undefeated Syracuse, this win will give the team a massive confidence boost.

What’s Next

Penn State will finish its home stand against Syracuse at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 21, at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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