Hometown Sports
Don't Miss

Lady Lions escape with win over Towson

By Kenny Varner

UNIVERSITY PARK – It was the dawning of a new era Friday afternoon when the Penn State Women’s basketball team opened its season with a roster without its second leading All-Time leading scorer, Maggie Lucas and its strong inside game of Nikki Greene.

Despite the loss of Lucas, the Lady Lions were bringing back a very talented team that made a deep run into last year’s NCAA Women’s tournament.

In its first contest of the year, the Lady Nits faced off against a young and talented Towson team looking for an opening day upset.

The game was not a pretty one for the home team as they had to overcome a late nine-point deficit to get them selves back in the game and pull out the hard-fought 71 – 64.

It wasn’t pretty in the first half, as no one told the Tigers that they were up against the defending Big 10 champion.

Penn State needed a strong showing in the second half if they were going to come out of its opening day contest the victors.

Towson Dominque Johnson gave here team a brief led to start the second half, posting a triple.

After a Penn State bucket, Johnson put her team back up by two.

Penn State rallied back to tie but a lay up by the Tigers put them back up by two with 17:56 left.

Things were not clicking offensively for the Lady Lions early on in the second while the Tigers came out with the momentum.

Towson’s transition game reared its head in the second half, outscoring Penn State 12-5 before the Lions called a must needed time out with 16:47 left.

A triple to Keke Sevillian seemed to bring the team back to life and within two.

Relentlessly, the Tigers kept coming and attacked the foul-ridden Penn State team, building up a 6-point lead with just over 13-minutes to play.

Mitchell tried to help her team to pull within five, standing at the charity stripe.

However, she was only able to hit one-of-two, making it 48-42 with 11:48 left.

The Lady Lions’ worked the ball back into the middle where it was successful in the first half.

Spann brought her team to within three with a drive and bucket at the hoop, closing the Tigers’ lead to 48-45 with 10:27 left.

Despite everything Towson threw at them the Lady Lions fought back and refused to go down without a fight.

A triple and jumper by the Lady Lions put them behind by two with 8:41.

With the chance to tie Spann’s jumper knotted the game at 53.

Two free throws by Johnson put Towson back ahead but that was quickly erased by a jumper by Moore.

With 6:44 left, Keke Sevillan had a chance to put the team ahead but missed the first shot of a one-on-one.

Minutes later, Agee gave her team back the lead hitting a strong runner in the lane, 57-55.

Back and forth the two teams went, tying and falling behind by a bucket with the clock running down on the game clock.

Moore put her team up by four with a floater in the lane at the 4-minute mark after Towson missed two from the free throw line, making it 61-57

Johnson, who posted a game high 32-point effort, kept her team in it, posting hard fought lay ups and clutch shooting from the circle.

But the Lady Lions got double digits from Spann (17), Moore (12), Waldner (11) and Mitchell (10).

In the opening period, the Lions came out shooting when Sierra Moore got Penn State off and running with a triple.

It was another day at the office for the Nittany Lions as it proved to have shook off the rust early on by building up an early 20-9 advantage halfway through the first half.

Defensively, the Lady Lions forced the smaller Tigers to try to shoot from outside the key and more toward the three-point line. Townsend was no match for the Lady Lions as the defense also forced their opponents to just one shot, dominating the defensive boards.

Scoring-wise, the Lady Lions were equal across the board early on as Sieera Moore, Lindsey Spann and Tori Waldner all contributed five each with 7:15 still left in the opening half.

Towson started to go on a small run of their own in the final five-minutes, cutting the lead to nine, 25-16.

Candice Agee was tough in the middle, keeping the Nits in the lead as the final minutes ticked off.

A pair of free throws with 3:01 by Jordyn Smith cut the Tigers deficit even further at 27-19.

Making just one of two, Towson got the ball back And made another trip to the free throw line. This time it would be Breonn Hughley that made one of two, making it 27-20 with 2:39 left until the intermission.

However, Dominque Brooks hit two-of-two from the charity stripe to build the lead back up to nine.

A long two by Kaliyah Mitchell gave her team some breathing room at 31-20 with less than a minute and a half to go.

Sneaking their way back in the game, Johnson roped a triple with under a minute left and charity stripe trip by Daijha Thomas cut the Penn State lead to five points with 16.5 ticks left on the scoreboard.

A half shot by Hughley, put the visitors in good position to start the second half, trailing only 31-29.

Peyton Witted led the way offensively for the Lady Lions at the half, posting a team-high seven points while the Tigers were led by Jordyn Smith’s nine.

Towson proved to be a good test for the Lady Lions as they fell by seven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *