November 15, 2010

Lady Lions scoring 103 points per game

Zhaque Gray (Photo:
Ok, so it's only two games into the season, and one of those games went into double overtime. But Penn State's Lady Lions are off to a good start, especially on offense, with a two-game scoring average of 103.5.

PSU 112, Dayton 107 (2-OT)

Following the "pre-season" exhibition game with Gannon (PSU W, 91-58), the regular season got underway Friday at Dayton. The Flyers proved to be a scrappy opponent, and a good test for a very young Lady Lions squad.

In a double overtime win, you would think the most important shots would fall in the extra periods. This time, that'd be wrong. Junior guard Zhaque Gray sunk a pair of three-pointers in the final 80 seconds to tie the game and force overtime. It was a clutch play, twice over.

Penn State seemed to have the game in hand early, jumping out to leads of 12-3 and 14-4 in the first five minutes of the first period. But Dayton started to get hot, going on a 12-4 run to cut the Lady Lions' lead to just two, 18-16. A scoring frenzy ensued the rest of the way, as the teams were tied at 40 going into the break.

The second half seemed to be swaying towards Penn State, which was able to break the deadlock by going up 50-46. The lead was short-lived, however, as Dayton again made basket after basket. As bad as it was getting for the Lady Lions, it was far from over. Things went from tense to bleak in a hurry.

With just 2:22 remaining in regulation, Dayton's Justine Raterman and Kristin Daugherty made what looked to be nail-in-coffin, back-to-back three pointers. The Flyers were up 81-73. That's when the Lady Lions dug deep, not going down without one hell of a fight.

Gray hit the game-tying trey with 15 second left. Each team got one more possession, but neither could convert.

The overtime periods were less dramatic, but just as high-scoring. The first extra period ended at 98-all, while Penn State pulled away in the second OT for the 112-107 victory.

Notes: It was the first 100-point game by Penn State since 2002, with the most points (112) since 2000... Sophomore Marisa Wolfe made her first career start... Maggie Lucas and Mia Nickson scored their first career points... Sophomore Nikki Greene reached the 200-rebound plateau for her career (208)... Greene posted her second career double-double with career highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds... Junior Zhaque Gray had a career-high 27 points... Redshirt sophomore Mia Nickson had a career-high 15 points.

PSU 95, Rider 21

Yes, it was that bad. This one wasn't nearly as exciting as the Dayton win earlier in the week, but it was absolutely one of the most dominant performances by the Lady Lions in years, if not decades.

Defensively speaking, it most definitely was the best showing since 1971 (57-16 win over Dickinson). Not to dampen what is an incredible performance by the Lady Lions, but there isn't much to comment on from this win.

Notes: The 74-point differential stands as the second highest margin of victory in program history... The largest differential still stands at 87 point in a 118-31 victory over Morgan St. in 1993... The 21 points are the fewest the Lady Lions have ever allowed at the Bryce Jordan Center ... The Lady Lions have scored 207 points in their first two games this season, the most in a two-game span since 1991 when Penn State netted 208 points in back-to-back wins over Niagara (116 pts.) and Ohio State (92 pts.)... Maggie Lucas notched the first 20-point game of her career with 22... Marisa Wolfe tied her career-best with six rebounds in the win... Gizelle Studevent tied her career high of three rebounds.

Coming up...

The Lady Lions travel to Oakland on Thursday for a 7 p.m. start before returning home to face South Carolina on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

LBU Stuff

Basketball coverage here at will pick up noticeably in the coming weeks. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge is coming up on Dec. 2, along with the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge on Dec. 5. At the end of December, the Big Ten conference schedule kicks in. So everything will heat up quickly soon.

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