The 18th-ranked Penn State Lady Lions used their superior strength and athletic ability to throttle the Alcorn State Lady Braves 85-62 on Dec. 22. The game was part of a women’s-men’s double header at the Bryce Jodan Center.
Most Outstanding Player: Dara Taylor. Taylor was outstanding on both ends of the court but particularly with her ball-handling and pushing the ball in transition for the Lady Lions.
Taylor finished with a career-high 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor. She also tied a career mark with seven thefts and added four assists and four rebounds.
Tremendous in loss: Tierro Frost. While Taylor was fabulous for the Lady Lions, Frost was just as impressive for the Lady Braves. The 5-9 senior attacked the bucket like beast, beating every Lady Lion who attempted to defend her off the dribble (even Taylor on occasion). Frost also showed off outstanding handles and excellent ability to create offense for herself.
Frost finished the game with 28 points on 10-of-26 shooting, including 2-of-6 from beyond the arc. She was also 6-of-8 from the charity stripe and added five rebounds. Frost had 14 of the Lady Braves’ 28 first half points.
Penn State (8-3) got off to a fast start as Dara Taylor came out aggressive and scored the theLady Lions two buckets. Maggie Lucas converted a three-point play in transition, following a steal by Taylor.
Jasmine Cunningham got Alcorn State (1-9) on the board with a jumper, assisted by Ashtin McNichols, at the 17:22 mark.
With Penn State leading 9-4, the Lady Lions went on an 8-0 run to give them their first double-digit lead of the game. The Lady Lions led 19-8 with 11:31 left in the first half and pushed the lead to 26-10 with 8:56 and to 30-10 with 32 seconds later.
With Penn State taking command of the game early head coach Coquese Edwards was able to get a lot of playing time for her younger players. All
“Well, we did get to play a lot of our young kids, get them some experience that they sorely needed,” Washington said. “They sorely needed to be out there and play and get a sense of what it feels like on game day. I think that contributed to the ebbs and flows of the game. I think it was hard to get a rhythm. There were a lot of whistles. Again, not passing judgment on any of those whistles, there were just a lot of whistles. It's hard to get into a rhythm or flow. The experience our young kids got is going to be valuable.”
Taylor (20 points), Lucas (19) and Ariel Edwards (10) scored in double figures for the Lady Lions. 6-5 junior Tori Waldner grabbed a game-high 10 caroms and dominated interior play with four blocked shots.
Frost was the only player in double figures for Alcorn State.
Penn State led 49-28 at halftime.
The second half was pretty much the same as the Lady Lions opened up the second stanza on a 11-6 run to go up 60-34. Penn State led by as many as 31 points in the second half but the most significant points of the half came on the first of two free throws by Lucas to give the Lady Lions a 70-47 lead with 11:17 remaining. The 70 points were significant as everyone in attendance receives free Chicken McNuggets from a local State College McDonald’s when the Lady Lions score 70 points.
- The game was pretty sloppy in both halves. Penn State (20 turnovers) and Alcorn State (21) combined for 41 turnovers and 47 fouls – Penn State was whistled for 24 and Alcorn State was tagged with 23.
- Penn State shot 44.8 percent from the floor (30-of-67) and held Alcorn State to 36.8 percent (21-of-57). It marked the 10th time this year that the Lady Lions held their opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field.
- Both teams shot 28 free throws with Penn State converting 23 and Alcorn State making 18.
- Lucas, who joined the Lady Lion 2,000 point club earlier this year, struggled shooting as she was just 4-of-16 from the floor. But she converted all 11 of her free throws. Lucas was 0-for-2 from beyond the arc which snaps a streak of 45 straight games of nailing a three-pointer.
- Alcorn State’s 62 points is a season high. The Lady Braves have now lost eight straight contests.
- The game was the first meeting ever between the schools.