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Lady Lions' Defense Forces 20 Turnovers in Win

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By Brian McLaughlin GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State used a strong second quarter to open up an early 20-point lead over the Wake Forest Demon Decons, and held on to win 68-58 Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.

In the second quarter the Lady Lions held the Demon Decons to just six points, a season low in one frame on the year for Wake Forest.

 "I thought our bench came in and gave us some good minutes especially in that second quarter. Siyeh Frazier and Kamaria McDaniel came in the game and gave us some good energy and we did a nice job contesting shots," head coach Coquese Washington said. "Credit Wake Forest they made some adjustments in the second half . Thankfully we had a cushion and we were still aggressive and assertive on the defensive end."

Teniya Page made her junior season home debut for Penn State in the win, scoring 21 points in the victory.

"It was really great to get back home. I just felt more comfortable and relaxed playing at home than on the road,' Page said.

Penn State started the second quarter with a vengeance, going on a 9-0 run to start the quarter. To end the quarter, Wake Forest did not hit a field goal over the final five minutes.

 The second half was not as kind to the Lady Lions as Wake Forest cut the lead to as few as seven points with one minute remaining in the contest.

"We are still really young and they we just do some dumb things sometimes because of our youth. I told them in the locker room, what I was really pleased with was we were really able to make adjustments," Washington said. "Some of the mistakes we make are just from a lack of experience. We hadn't really been pressed all year until tonight, so the first couple possessions we were pressed and we didn't make the smartest decision, but we were able to talk about it. They take coaching very well."

 Wake Forest came in to the game having out-rebounded five of its six opponents, but the Lady Lions won the rebound battle 48 to 45 behind 11 from De'Janae Boykin.

"I think every game I play physical and that is kind of what I bring to the team," Boykin said. "I like rebounding. It's kind of my thing and it's something I do."

The difference for the Lady Lions came down to free throw shooting, as they connected on 28-for-33 for 84 percent from the charity stripe. Page in particular was effective from the line, going 10-for-11, including some big free throws to close out the game late in the fourth quarter. 

While hitting such a high percentage of shots from the free throw line, the team struggled from the field. In fact, both teams struggled offensively on the evening, neither shooting over 35 percent from the field. Neither the Lady Lions or the Demon Decons made a 3-pointer until Jaida Travascio-Green connected with 17 seconds remaining in the first half. 

"I was pleased to see us shoot almost 85 percent from the free-throw line. We need to continue to work on offensive execution and I think there were times when it looks really good and times when it could stand to use some work," Washington said. "I think the thing we tried to do was be physical and attack. That's something we didn't do when we were away from the BJC and in Las Vegas. We weren't aggressive and assertive and I thought we did a better job of that tonight."

Penn State returns to action on Sunday to take on Manhattan at 2 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center. 

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