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Dominant Second Quarter Leads to Opening Night Win for Lady Lions

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By Brian McLaughlin, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's basketball team opened its 2017 season with a dominant performance beating Siena 86-72 on Friday.

 After a close first quarter, the Lady Lions turned it on in the second quarter, outscoring the Saints 26-7. The defensive pressure proved vital as Penn State forced 19 first-half turnovers led by Siyeh Frazier with eight steals.

 "We have worked all week on really flying around on defense, just keeping our hands up, pressuring the ball and in the second quarter we really executed that game well," Jaida Travascio-Green said.

Amari Carter picked up two fouls only five minutes into the game. With another regular starter in Teniya Page out, Siyeh Frazier had to fill in at point-guard for the remainder of the first quarter. 

Carter and Travascio-Green led the team on the offensive end. Carter had a team high 19 points and Travascio-Green followed with 14. Carter also added six rebounds and five assists.

"We have had plenty of time to practice without Teniya," Coach Coquese Washington said. "We kind of have a rotation, Sarah McMurtry, Siyeh (Frazier) can play some back-up point, so we've been practicing without her so we're used to not having her on the court." 

The second quarter proved to be the difference as the Lady Lions shot 58 percent from the field in second quarter. Carter scored nine of her 19 in the frame and Travascio-Green added eight. 

The Lady Lions did a great job of pushing the pace all evening, outscoring the Saints 27-14 on the fast break. This is a big point of emphasis for coach Washington, who really liked how her guards ran the floor. 

"When you have a point guard like Amari, who is really good at pushing the pace, and creating her own shot it helps keep the pace fast. She did a great job of finding Jaida and finding some of our post players," Washington said. "It plays into our talent so I think everything starts with great guard play." 

The Lady Lions led by as much as 35 points, however the Saints cut the lead to as low as 12 in the fourth quarter. Penn State was only able to manage 11 points in the fourth quarter allowing the Saints to claw back in the game. 

With four Lady Lions in foul trouble the bench received a large number of minutes in the fourth quarter.  

Kollyns Scarbaugh had a game high 21 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double for Siena but was unable to lead her team all the way back for what would have been an impressive comeback win.

The Lady Lions return to action Sunday to take on the Drexel Dragons at the Bryce Jordan Center at 1:00 p.m. 

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