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PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A low-scoring, tightly contested first half led into a tale of two quarters in the second half, as the Penn State women's basketball team dropped a stirring 70-65 decision at No. 25/RV Rutgers on Saturday (Jan. 6) evening inside the Rutgers Athletic Center.
The Scarlet Knights (16-2, 4-0 B1G) outscored Penn State (10-7, 1-3 B1G) 22-11 in the third quarter, but the Lady Lions owned a 28-20 edge in the fourth quarter in the narrow loss.
With Penn State trailing by one point, 64-63, and 28 seconds on the clock, Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) stole a pass and raced to the other end, but Rutgers recovered to contest the shot and forced a miss. The Scarlet Knights would hit six free throws to Penn State's two over the final seconds to account for the final margin.
Junior Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) led Penn State with 24 points, including 19 points in the second half -- with 15 of those coming in the fourth quarter -- for her 63rd career double-figure scoring game. She was 5-of-14 from the field, hitting 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range, and finished 10-of-12 from the free throw stripe. Page added three rebounds, two assists and one steal.
With her 24 tallies, Page marked her fifth 20-point game of the season and 25th of her career to move up two spots on the career scoring charts, ending the night at No. 21 all-time in Penn State history. She now has 1,291 points, passing Louise Leimkuhler (1,280; 1980-83) and Carol Walderman (1,288; 1981-83).
Two other Lady Lions reached double-figures in the scoring column at Rutgers, with Carter adding 18 points for her 14 double-digit scoring game of the season and 23rd of her career and Jaida Travascio-Green (Lisle, Ill.) chipping in 11 points for her 12th double-digit game of the season and 17th in her career.
Carter added four steals, three rebounds and two assists in the game. It marked the seventh time this season that the redshirt-sophomore collected four-or-more steals in a game and tied her Big Ten personal best, which she has done four times, including two-straight games.
Redshirt-sophomore De'Janae Boykin (Springdale, Md.) pulled down 11 rebounds to lead all players and mark her fifth double-digit rebound game of the season. She also tallied six points and a career-high five assists in the game.
For Rutgers, Tyler Scaife paced all scorers with 29 points, while Nigia Greene added 16 points off the bench. Stasha Carey added 10 rebounds, nine points and three blocked shots in the game. Ciani Cryor led all players with seven assists to go along with four steals, three points and two rebounds.
- G Teniya Page -- Paced Penn State with 24 points -- 19 coming in the second half -- to move up two spots on the career scoring charts and into No. 21 all-time at Penn State. Added three rebounds and two assists.
- G Amari Carter -- Scored 18 points for her fifth-straight double-figure game. Added four steals, three rebounds and two assists.
- G Jaida Travascio-Green -- Posted 11 points -- including three 3-pointers.
- F De'Janae Boykin -- Hauled in 11 rebounds for her fifth double-digit rebound game of the season. Added six points and a career-best five assists.
- Fast Break -- Penn State piled up 16 fast break points and didn't allow Rutgers to convert on the fast break in the game, holding the 16-0 edge in that category.
- G Tyler Scaife -- Led all scorers with 29 points, hitting 11-of-22 shots from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Added four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
- G Nigia Greene -- Tallied 16 points to rank second on the team.
- G Ciani Cryor -- Handed out seven assists, grabbed four steals and added three points off the bench.
- F Stasha Carey -- Pulled down 10 rebounds, added nine points and blocked three shots.
- Forcing the TO -- Rutgers forced 19 Penn State turnovers and turned them into 22 points.
- Bench Boost -- The Scarlet Knights outscored Penn State 28-6 off the bench.
The two teams exchanged mini scoring spurts over the opening 90 seconds, with Rutgers holing a slim 4-3 edge following a Carter and-1 with 8:50 to play. After trading four points to make it 8-7 in favor of the home team, the Scarlet Knights reeled off nine-straight points to build a 17-7 lead with 3:18 left in the opening frame. From that point, Penn State held Rutgers scoreless the rest of the way and a Page 3-pointer at the buzzer capped a 7-0 run to close the first quarter and pull the Blue and White within three points, 17-14, going into the first break.
at Rutgers 17, Penn State 14
Neither team could put together an extended run in the second 10 minutes, as the quarter was played within two possessions the whole way. Rutgers built a four-point lead with 6:13 to play on a Caitlin Jenkins and-1. The Lady Lions would hold the Scarlet Knights to just four points the rest of the way, but could only muster six points of their own. A four-point spurt following the Jenkins three-point play, all coming from Carter, and knotted the score at 24 apiece with 3:21 to play. After a pair of Carey free throws for RU, Boykin converted a layup on a nice feed from Siyeh Frazier (Detroit, Mich.) to tie the score again, this time at 26. Scaife hit a jumper with 1:57 to play in the half to push Rutgers back into the lead and neither team could find the hoop the remainder of the frame.
at Rutgers 28, Penn State 26
The third quarter saw both teams use spurts to account for most of their respective scoring, as Rutgers used a 14-3 run -- including nine from Scaife -- over the first seven minutes of the third quarter to build a 13-point lead with 2:23 to play in the frame. Each team scored eight points to close the half, with Penn State's coming on a Page 3-pointer, Carter layup and Travascio-Green 3-pointer, and the Scarlet Knights took a 13-point edge into the final 10 minutes.
at Rutgers 50, Penn State 37
Penn State chipped away at the Rutgers over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter whittling the 13-point deficit to nine points on a pair of Page freebies with 4:46 to play. The Lady Lions then used an 11-3 spurt over a four-minute span to get within one point. During the run, Rutgers was 0-for-3 from the field and had three turnovers, while Penn State was 4-for-7 -- including a pair of 3-pointers -- and 1-of-2 from the free throw line to make it a 64-63 contest with 30 seconds to play. Following a Frazier steal and layup to make it a one-point game, Rutgers called a timeout to advance the ball to mid-court, but Carter stole the inbounds pass and raced towards the hoop looking for the go-ahead points. Rutgers defenders recovered to force a contested shot, which Carter missed. After a PSU foul, Scaife made a pair of free throws to push the RU lead to three points, 66-63. Penn State used its final timeout to move the ball to mid-court, but a five-second violation turned the ball back over to Rutgers. Four more free throws by the Scarlet Knights bookended a pair of Penn State freebies to account for the final margin.
at Rutgers 70, Penn State 65
Penn State hosts Minnesota on Wednesday, Jan. 10 in a 7 p.m. contest inside the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions and Golden Gophers will be carried on BTN Plus, as well as over the airwaves of the Penn State Radio Network.