Lady Lions stop six-game streak
UNIVERSITY PARK – A trio of players topped the 20-point mark and eight reached the scoring column in the Penn State Lady Lions’ (2-6) 96-66 victory over Wagner (0-7) on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
It was the highest scoring output this season for the Lady Lions and snapped their six-game losing streak.
The Lady Lions scored 42 points in the first half and 54 points in the second, their two most fruitful scoring halves of the season, to record their most points since scoring a Bryce Jordan Center record 117 points in the season opener versus St. Francis on Nov. 8, 2013.
Freshman Lindsey Spann scored 18 of her career-high 22 points in the first half, while sophomore Kaliyah Mitchell poured in 14 of her career-best 20 points during the first 20 minutes.
Spann eclipsed the 100-career point mark with her third basket of the game, a layup with 16:34 to play, and ended the afternoon with 116 career tallies. Her 22 points were the most by a Lady Lion this season, as she netted a career-best eight field goals. She is the first Lady Lion freshman to score 20 points in a game since Maggie Lucas recorded 13 20-point outings as a rookie.
Mitchell also moved past a career milestone, netting her 200th career point on a three-point basket at the 11:53 mark of the first half. Her 20 points, which came on an 8-of-11 shooting effort, helped her bring her career total to 217 tallies. Mitchell also pulled in seven rebounds.
Sophomore Sierra Moore scored 15 second-half points to end the day with a career-high 21 tallies, giving Penn State three 20-point scorers in a game for the first time since Nov. 26, 2011 when Maggie Lucas (26), Alex Bentley (23) and Zhaque Gray (21) all reached the 20-point mark vs. Nevada.
Moore was 11-of-12 from the free throw stripe, with both totals setting career-highs and marking the most for a Penn State player this season. Her seven assists were also the most for a Lady Lion this season and are a career best.
As a team, Penn State set season-highs in points (96), points in a half (54), field goals made (34), field goal percentage (.531), free throws made (25) and attempted (33), and assists (19) vs. Wagner. The 53.1 shooting percent against the Seahawks marks the first time that the Lady Lions shot better than 50 percent since March 1, 2014 vs. Michigan (53.8).
Spann sparked the Lady Lions with six points over the first over the first four minutes of the game to help the home team out to a 10-0 lead. The lead remained 10 points (15-5) with 11:53 left in the opening stanza, but three straight three-point baskets from Peck pulled Wagner within one point (15-14) at the midway point of the first half.
After the Lady Lions built their back to 10 points, another Peck three-pointer and a pair of layups cut that lead to three points (26-23). That is when the Lions grabbed control of the game, closing the first half on a 16-5 run to take a 14-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
Spann led the way in the opening half with 18 points, while Mitchell eclipsed her career-high point total in the first half, as she netted 14 points.
The second half started much like the first half ended, with Penn State using an extended scoring run to increase their lead. Penn State pushed its lead to 57-34 with a 15-6 run over the first six minutes of the second half and Wagner would get no closer than 20 points the rest of the way.
The lead swelled to 30 points, 78-48, on a Mitchell layup with 8:15 to play in the game. The largest lead for the Lady Lions came just 30 seconds later, after a Taylor Butigian free throw for Wagner, DeGraaf hit a pair of free throws to make it a 31-point advantage (80-49) with 7:48 to play.
WAGNER (66): Nwajei 7-17 0-0 14. Rowe 0-5 0-0 0, Dluhi 2-3 0-0 4, Peck 9-16 3-5 27, Conyers-Jordan 1-4 0-0 2, Russell 2-2 0-0 4, Wade 0-0 0-0 0, Roma 0-1 1-2 1, Hamlet 1-3 0-1 2, Sullivan 1-2 0-0 2, Butigian 2-3 4-6 10. Totals – 25-56 8-14 66.
PENN STATE (96): Agee 4-7 1-3 9, Moore 5-9 11-12 21, Spann 8-15 4-4 22, Mitchell 8-11 3-4 20, Waldner 0-1 0-2 0, Sevillian 2-6 0-2 4, Brooks 1-3 2-2 4, Whitted 2-4 0-0 4, Dincher 0-0 0-0 0, DeGreaf 4-8 4-4 12. Totals – 34-64 25-33 96.
Halftime-Penn State, 42-28. 3-point goals-Wagner 8-22 (Peck 6, Butigian 2); Penn State 3 (Spann 2, Mitchell). Assists-Wagner 12 (Nwajei 7); Penn State 19 (Moore 7). Rebounds-Wagner 29 (Hamlet 7); Penn State 40 (Mitchell 7).
Records: Wagner (0-7); Penn State (2-6).