Lady Lions Win Opener 74-72 Over Providence In Thrilling Fashion

Despite a slow first three quarters, Penn State women’s basketball (1-0) mounted a huge fourth quarter comeback to defeat Providence (0-1) 74-72 in a thriller at the Bryce Jordan Center. 

With less than a second remaining, sophomore forward Sam Breen was fouled and converted two free throws to win the game for the Lady Lions. The Friars converted a buzzer-beater, but after further review, the shot didn’t get off in time, so Penn State claimed victory in its season opener.

How It Happened 

Providence came out swinging in the first quarter, connecting on 6-of-9 attempts from three. The Friars held a 30-21 lead at the end of the opening frame, mostly due to the shooting of Jovana Nogic, who connected on three from beyond the arc.

In the second quarter, the Lady Lions were able to trim Providence’s lead down to four after a much stronger defensive effort. Offensively, Penn State was fueled by Alisia Smith, who contributed 11 points and seven rebounds in the half.

Trailing 40-36 entering the second half, the Lady Lions halftime adjustments were not effective early. The Friars had another big quarter, extending their lead to 12 points by the end of the frame. 

With a 63-51 deficit entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions were able to finally find some offensive momentum and mount a huge comeback. After ripping off a 10-0 run midway through the fourth to trim the lead to four, Penn State got huge buckets from Amari Carter and Teniya Page late to tie the game at 72 all. 

After a Page steal with only a few seconds remaining and a quick outlet to Siyeh Frazier, the junior guard missed on her drive to the bucket. Breen, however, came up with an offensive rebound and was fouled with 0.4 seconds to go. Breen converted both free throws, leaving Providence only 0.4 seconds to work with.

After advancing the ball for the final play, the inbounds play was successful for Providence — giving them an open look right under the basket. However, the shot did not get off in time and the Lady Lions escaped with a win.

Takeaways

  • Amari Carter led the way offensively, scoring a team-high 15 points and leading the huge fourth quarter comeback.
  • Despite having 22 turnovers, the Lady Lion offense was able to find its swagger late, going on a 23-9 fourth quarter run to secure the win.
  • After struggling for much of the game defensively, Penn State was able to make some huge timely stops against a strong offensive team in Providence. The Friar offense connected on six threes alone in the first quarter, but ended with only eight for the game.  
  • Penn State entered the season with some question marks on the low post, but two sophomore forwards came up huge. Alisia Smith was arguably the team’s best player in the first half — leading with 11 points and seven rebounds. After she got into foul trouble, Sam Breen played a big role in the comeback — finishing with nine points, including those two game-winning free throws after her offensive board.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will play host to No. 24 California (1-0) on Sunday. The game tips off in the Bryce Jordan Center at 2 p.m. and airs on BTN Plus. 

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