Lady Lions rally past Wildcats, 67-59

University Park, Centre County, Pa. - Trailing by as many as 13 points with one minute left in the third quarter, the Penn State women’s basketball team battled back to outscore Northwestern 35-14 over the final 11 minutes of the contest and earn a 67-59 Big Ten victory at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday (Feb. 14).
Penn State led for the majority of the first half before Northwestern battled back to knot the score, 26-26, heading into the break. In a game that would see five ties and five lead changes, it wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that the Lady Lions (15-12, 6-8 B1G) took the lead for good, earning them their 13th-straight victory over the Wildcats (9-18, 2-11 B1G).
With the win, the Blue and White now holds the 38-7 all-time series lead over the Wildcats. Dating back to a loss in Feb. 2008, the Lady Lions have won 13-straight games over Northwestern, marking the longest winning streak against one opponent in the program’s 26-year Big Ten tenure.
Junior Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) finished the game with a game-high 22 points, marking her 12th-straight game reaching double figures. It also marks the 19th time this season and 73rd time in her career with 10-plus points. Page sunk all of her seven free throws during the game. Her seven makes from the charity stripe move her into the top-25 on the single-season charts, with 114 conversions from the line this season.
Sophomore Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) netted 17 points for the Lady Lions, the 24th time this season and 33rd time in her career that she has reached double figures. Carter also pulled down two rebounds, bringing her career total to 200, while her four assists tied a team-best.
Sophomore Jaida Travascio-Green (Lisle, Ill.) tied her Big Ten Conference best with five rebounds for the third time this season and hit a big 3-pointer down the stretch to help the Lady Lions to a win over Northwestern.
On the boards, De’Janae Boykin (Sprindale, Md.) tied a team best with seven rebounds which marks the 19th time this season, and 21st time in her career that she has led the Lady Lions on the glass, while Jaylen Williams (Easton, Mass.) also nabbed seven rebounds on the night.
Finally, in her first start as a Lady Lion, freshman Alisia Smith (Lansing, Mich.) had eight points, three rebounds and three blocked shots.
Leading the Wildcats was Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah with a team-high 21 points and 14 rebounds. Lindsey Pulliam scored 11 points and Abi Scheid added ten points and snagged four rebounds for Northwestern.
Turning Point
At 5:02 left in the fourth quarter
The Lady Lions sparked a 14-point run to start the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats fought back and tied up the score with five minutes remaining in the game. However, after an empty offensive possession by Northwestern, Penn State drove the ball down the court and Travascio-Green drew a foul, sinking both foul shots to give the Lady Lions the lead for good.
Difference Makers
Penn State
·         G Teniya Page – Poured in a game-high 22 points with two rebounds, one assist and three steals
·         G Amari Carter – Netted 17 points with two 3-pointers and a team-high four assists
·         G Jaida Travascio-Green – Scored nine points along with five rebounds and one block
·         G Siyeh Frazier – Grabbed a team-high four steals along with adding nine points and a career-high three blocks
·         F De’Janae Boykin – Grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Added two points and three assists.
·         F Jaylen Williams – Snagged seven rebounds for the Lady Lions along with one block
·         F Alisia Smith – Added eight points along with three blocks and three rebounds
·         Capitalizing off of Turnovers – Penn State scored 25 points off of turnovers.
F Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah – Scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds along with four steals
G Lindsey Pulliam – Scored 11 points along with three assists, three rebounds and one block
F/C Abi Scheid – Netted ten points and snagged four rebounds
First Quarter
The Lady Lions and Wildcats matched point for point for the first half of the quarter before Smith sparked a six-point run for the Blue and White with a layup off of an offensive rebound. Penn State ended the first quarter leading, 15-7, with a 3-pointer from Page and a layup from Smith.
at Penn State 15, Northwestern 7
Second Quarter
The Wildcats started the second quarter with a five-point run. Carter ended that with a big 3-pointer to allow the Lady Lions to maintain a 20-12 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the half. The Wildcats battled back to cut the Penn State lead to two before using a jumper from just outside the paint with 32 seconds left to knot the score, 26-26, heading into the locker room.
at Penn State 26, Northwestern 26
Third Quarter
The Lady Lions broke the tie when Page made two free throws in the opening minute, but Northwestern quickly answered back with a seven-point run, gaining a 33-28 lead. A Carter jumper followed, but the Wildcats continued to outscore the Lady Lions taking a game-high 13-point lead on a Scheid and-one with 1:02 to play in the frame. An and-one play from Page and a jumper from Carter helped Penn State end the third on a five-point spurt, drawing within eight, 45-37, entering the final 10 minutes.
Northwestern 45, at Penn State 37
Fourth Quarter
The Lady Lions continued their offensive run into the fourth quarter, taking the lead, 46-45, on a deep jumper from Page with 8:16 to play. A steal on the defensive end followed by a fast break layup from Carter continued the Blue and Whites 16-point run, before Northwestern answered with a 6-2 spurt to grab a 51-50 lead with 5:27 to play. The Lady Lions quickly responded with 9-2 jaunt, capped with a 3-pointer by Travascio-Green to make it 59-53 with 3:30 to play. The Wildcats tried to fight back, but were not able to penetrate the Lady Lions defense as Penn State held on for the 67-59 victory.
at Penn State 67, Northwestern 59
Up Next
With no game this weekend, Penn State takes to the road on Thursday, Feb. 22, traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game will tip at 8 p.m. and will air on the Big Ten Network as well as over the airwaves of the Penn State Radio Network.

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