Maryland Blows Out Penn State Behind Strong Second Half
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The No. 10 Maryland Terrapins proved to be too much for Penn State to handle on senior day Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center, as the Lady Lions fell 106-69. Maryland improves its record to 22-4 and 13-2 in conference play, while Penn State drops to 7-19 and 1-14 in conference play.
Maryland is ranked first in the Big Ten and Penn State is ranked last. Both the last time Maryland lost, and the last time Penn State won was on Jan. 9. Going in, the Lady Lions knew they were going to have their work cut out for them.
It was a tale of two halves for the Lady Lions on Sunday.
The first half had all the makings of a competitive basketball game. Both teams were trading buckets and shooting at a high percentage offensively, and playing tough, forcing turnovers on the defensive end.
Head-coach Carolyn Kieger thought highly of the team’s first half performance, especially on offense. “I thought we did a great job with the ball not sticking. We shared the basketball. Time per touch was better than it was in the second half. The ball didn’t stick in one players hand, we set each other up, we made the right pass, and we were attacking downhill. I thought our spacing was great.”
“But we still have to play good defense. They had 46 points at half. It was back and forth but it still wasn’t a great performance on the defensive end in the first half,” Kieger said.
The score stood Maryland on top 46-45 heading into the break, and that would prove to be all that the Lady Lions had in the tank. Perhaps the theme of the season for Penn State continued as the struggles in the third quarter were evident. The Terrapins scored 32 points compared to the Lady Lions’ 11.
Maryland poured it on in the entire second half, more than doubling Penn State’s second-half point total. The Terrapins scored 60 points and the Lady Lions could only manage 24.
Kieger spoke about what she thought was different in the second half in comparison to the first.
“Obviously they were sort of running on us. In the first half I think they only had 4 points in transition, and I think out of their 60 points in the second half probably 40 of them were in transition," Kieger said. "I’m sure they got reamed pretty good in the locker room for not running on us in the first half, so I think that was the difference. They pushed pace and we didn’t send two back like we were supposed to."
Stephanie Jones led the way for the Terrapins with 21 points. Diamond Miller and Shakira Austin weren’t far behind, finishing with 16 a piece.
For Penn State, Kamaria McDaniel, the team’s leading scorer led the way today with 22 points. Siyeh Frazier was second on the team with 16 points on her senior day. McDaniel, Frazier and the team put up an effort, but fell way short.
Kieger spoke on the team’s fight and attitude going forward. “At the end of the day, Maryland right now is the No. 10 team in the country and the only way that you’re going to beat them is to fight. We did that in the first half, and we gave ourselves a chance.”
“In the second half when we take a punch and fold and give up that’s obviously never going to work especially when you’re the underdog," Kieger said. "We just keep showing it, we keep teaching it, we keep putting ourselves in position in practice to work on [failing] and to keep pushing because at the end of the day basketball’s a game of runs, and there’s going to be runs every single time you step on the court. If every single time you don’t weather the storm or you take a punch and you fold, obviously that’s going to be pretty hard to come back from."
Kieger and the Lady Lions are going to have a week to prepare to come back from this loss. They travel to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes next Saturday afternoon.
Zach Donaldson is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.