Lady Lion offense ineffective in loss

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Penn State Lady Lions were plagued by 24 turnovers and shot just 31.6 percent from the field in a 77-52 loss at No. 23 Iowa to open Big Ten play.

Sophomore Lindsey Spann posted her fourth 20-point performance in the last five games with 22 tallies to lead Penn State (3-9, 0-1) . She also filled the stats sheet with five rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Junior Candice Agee had nine points on a 4-for-5 shooting effort, while sophomore Alex Harris tied her career high with 11 rebounds. Senior Tori Waldner accounted for seven points and four rebounds.

Bethany Doolittle had 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for Iowa. Melissa Dixon was 5 of 12 from 3-point range and led the Hawkeyes with 21 points. Ally Disterhoft, Whitney Jennings and Christina Buttenham each added 11 points. Jennings also had eight assists.

The Hawkeyes (10-2, 1-0) came out firing on all cylinders as they established a 16-1 lead in the first 6:12 of the game. Disterhoft led the charge for Iowa with seven points, while Agee had the lone point for the Lady Lions in the game’s opening moments.

Sierra Moore got the Penn State offense going with a layup and on the ensuing Iowa possession, Keke Sevillian stole the ball and went the length of the floor for the layup. The Lady Lions continued to roll with a layup from Agee and a pair of free throws from Spann to complete the 8-0 run and make it a 16-9 game with just under 11 minutes remaining.

The Hawkeyes scored four of the game’s next six points to push their lead back to nine points (20-11) with 10:21 to play in the opening frame. Spann scored the next five points with a jumper and a three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer to close the gap to four (20-16) with eight minutes remaining in the opening frame. However, the potent Iowa offense clicked off a 13-2 run to make it a 33-18 Hawkeye lead with less than five minutes on the clock.

The teams exchanged scores over the next several minutes until the Hawkeyes scored the final four points of the opening frame to go into the locker room with a 41-24 lead. Iowa shot 50 percent from the field, including a 53.8 percent effort from 3-point range.

Iowa started the second half much the same way that it started the first with a 9-2 run to extend its lead to 50-26 with 16:33 to play. Spann connected on her second 3-pointer of the game to kick off an 11-3 to close the gap to 52-37 with 12 minutes remaining. During the run Spann accounted for nine points via a pair of 3-pointers and one old-fashioned three-point play, while Harris added a rebound and layup.

The Hawkeye offense continued to impress with a 12-4 run to push the lead to 24 (65-41) with 7:43 on the clock. Penn State would get as close as 20 points in the final eight minutes, but could not overcome on a pair of Sevillian free throws, but could not overcome the early deficit.

PENN ST. (3-9): Agee 4-5 1-2 9, Moore 1-7 0-0 2, Spann 6-21 6-8 22, Mitchell 0-2 0-2 0, Whitted 0-6 0-0 0, Sevillian 1-2 2-2 4, Harris 2-5 0-0 4, Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, DeGraaf 2-2 0-0 4, Waldner 2-7 3-4 7. Totals 18-57 12-18 52.

IOWA (10-2): Disterhoft 3-5 4-7 11, Jennings 3-9 5-6 11, Dixon 7-16 2-2 21, Logic 3-6 1-2 8, Doolittle 6-10 0-1 12, Kastanek 1-2 0-0 3, Till 0-0 0-0 0, Coley 0-1 0-0 0, Buttenham 5-8 0-0 11, Peschel 0-3 0-0 0, Mohns 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 12-18 77.

Halftime-Iowa 41-24. 3-Point Goals-Penn St. 4-12 (Spann 4-9, Moore 0-1, Whitted 0-2), Iowa 9-22 (Dixon 5-12, Logic 1-2, Disterhoft 1-2, Kastanek 1-2, Buttenham 1-2, Jennings 0-1, Peschel 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Penn St. 40 (Harris 11), Iowa 38 (Doolittle 11). Assists-Penn St. 9 (Spann 4), Iowa 21 (Disterhoft 8). Total Fouls-Penn St. 19, Iowa 16. A-5,411.