By: Thomas Frank Carr
The Lady Lions continue to dominate on defense while struggling on offense. The same theme presented itself Sunday night when the Lady Lions defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 65-52 at the Bryce Jordan Center. At times it was a dominating defensive performance but the young lions continue to struggle to find their rhythm. We’ll take a look at all of that in Stats That Matter.
Stat 1: 52%
Indiana took 52% of their shots from three point against the Lady Lions. Much of that was by design according to Indiana head coach Curt Miller,
“We knew we had to make a bunch of threes but we wanted to play a little more balanced inside-out… They did a very good job of keeping us at about 30 feet in the first half offensively.”
The defense that the Lady Lions ran shut down avenues to the basket and didn’t allow for easy passes into the paint. That being said, there were plenty of open shots from three point that Indiana couldn’t connect on. It happened especially when the starting five of Penn State weren’t out on the floor together. Jenny DeGraff had a very badly blown defensive rotation that left a Hoosier shooter all alone on the far side of the court for an uncontested three. Peyton Whitted also struggled on the night but more on that later.
Stat 2: 26
That’s how many fouls Indiana committed Sunday night. The Hoosiers got into foul trouble early in the game and gave the Lady Lions a huge advantage. Penn State was into the bonus with about 11 minutes left in the first half and put up 10 free throws to IU’s two. Once the Lady Lions hit seven fouls the numbers evened out a little bit but by that time the damage was done and Penn State was up by 10. On the night the Lady Lions went 22-31 from the free throw line. If Penn State could have hit better than 71% from the free throw line the victory would have been even more lop sided.
Stat 3: 5
It’s easy to look at four starters having double digits points and say it was a good night for the Lady Lions. However, they only got five bench points last night versus Indiana. Peyton Whitted had a particularly tough night Sunday with four fouls and only one point. She frequently came in to replace Tori Waldner but she struggled on defense and clearly didn’t have much rhythm on offense. For the Lady Lions to make it to the end of the season, they need to be able to take some of the pressure off of their starters. Five points won’t cut it.
Bonus Stat: 11 reb 13 pts.
Talia East has been a force down low all season long but her offensive game is beginning to take off. She’s using shot fakes, double moves and is finishing at the basket. Her physical play down low is one of the main reasons that the Lady Lions have been so hard to drive against all year. Last night she got a double-double for her efforts. Being able to go inside-out will open up plenty of opportunities for her guards. The Lady Lions now just have to shoot the ball with more consistency and they will be a force to be reckoned with.