UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Penn State women’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to capture a 71-64 win over visiting Wisconsin Thursday night in Big Ten action at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Lady Lions held a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter before holding the Badgers to a 26.7 percent (4-for-15) clip from the field in the final term. Penn State went 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) from the charity stripe, including 10-for-10 in the final 1:21, to seal the win.
Senior Teniya Page led the Lady Lions with 23 points, marking her third-straight and eighth overall 20-plus point effort. Senior Amari Carter chipped in 13 points, while sophomore Kamaria McDaniel added 11. Junior Siyeh Frazier registered her first career double-double with 10 points and a career-best 11 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lady Lions started 4-for-4 from the floor to jump out to a quick 9-2 lead less than two minutes into the game. The PSU edge reached 11-3 before Wisconsin stormed back with a 17-4 run over the next 5:40 to jump ahead 19-13 with 1:38 left on the first-quarter clock. A jumper from Carter ended the term for the Lady Lions to trim the Badger lead to 19-15 after one term.
The Wisconsin lead reached seven at 30-23 just over four minutes into the second quarter. A corner three from Page then ignited 13-1 streak over the final five minutes of the half. The Lady Lions shot 5-for-11 from the field during the stretch and held Wisconsin without a field goal for the final 5:29 of the half to take a 36-31 lead at the break.
Wisconsin came out strong in the third quarter, scoring eight of the first 10 points to jump back in front 39-38 four minutes into the stanza. McDaniel then fueled a 9-3 Penn State run by herself over the next 2:43 as Penn State got back on top, 47-42, with 3:06 on the clock. Wisconsin answered with the next five points, but a layup from freshman Lauren Ebo ended the term to give the Lady Lions a 49-47 lead heading into the final quarter.
Four points from Page, a Carter three-pointer and an Ebo layup allowed Penn State to score nine of the fourth quarter’s first 11 points as the Lady Lion lead reached 58-49 with 5:33 to play.
Wisconsin scored six of the next seven to trim the Penn State advantage down to 61-57 with under three minutes left on the clock, but it would be as close as the Badgers would get.
Penn State’s free throw shooting sealed it down the stretch as Page went 8-for-8 and the Lady Lions went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the final 1:21 to secure the 71-64 win.
Penn State has now won three-straight meetings with Wisconsin.
The Lady Lions are now 32-14 all-time against the Badgers and 21-3 all-time at home against Wisconsin.
With the win, Penn State is 34-10 in the Bryce Jordan Center dating back to the start of the 2016-17 season.
The Lady Lions are 6-1 this season when holding opponents at 69 points or less.
Penn State is now 6-2 in games that the Lady Lions have made 15 or more free throws.
Frazier’s 11 rebounds bested her previous career high of eight boards. Her first career double-double was accompanied by her 10th double-digit scoring game of the season.
Page has scored in double figures in every game this season, including eight 20-plus point efforts.
Carter’s 13 points marked her first double-digit performance of Big Ten play.
McDaniel has now scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games.
The Lady Lions were 3-for-7 from the charity stripe entering the fourth quarter, before going 13-for-18 (72.2%) from the free throw line in the final term.
The Lady Lions shot a game-high 45.0 percent (9-for-20) from the field in the second quarter as Penn State outscored the Badgers 21-12.
Penn State won the points off turnovers battle, 17-9. The Lady Lions forced 16 Badger turnovers.
PSU held a 12-4 edge in fast break points.
Penn State finished the game with a 45-43 rebound edge.
Head Coach Coquese Washington
“It was good to get back home and play in front of our crowd to start the new year. I thought we put probably our four best quarters together, and that’s one of the things we talked about coming into the game.”
“We wanted to start strong and end strong. I thought we had a good start to the game and thought we finished the game strong, especially bolstered by Teniya’s free throws and Siyeh did a great job attacking.”
“Every win in conference play is important, in particular this year. There’s a lot of parity in our conference. When you look at the standings and the results of games every night, you just never know who is going to come out on top. When you can get a good win at home, that’s important to stay in the race because every game is going to be so important.”
The Lady Lions are back on the road Sunday afternoon to take on Rutgers.
Tipoff from New Jersey is slated for 4 p.m.