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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After building an 18-point lead in the third quarter, the Penn State women's basketball team held off a hectic run by Ohio in a 74-65 victory in the first round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament inside the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday (March 17).
The Lady Lions overcame a slow start in the first quarter and overtook the Bobcats early in the second quarter and never looked back. After building the 18-point lead late in the third quarter, Penn State was able to hold off a late rally to advance to the second round vs. Fordham on Sunday, March 19 inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 2 p.m.
Graduate student Sierra Moore (Hanover, Pa.) paced the Lady Lions with 10 points in both halves totaling a season-high 20 points. Moore pulled down six rebounds, while also adding one blocked shot and one steal to her stat line.
The 20 points mark her second-career 20-point game, with the only other 20-point effort being a 21-point game vs. Wagner on Dec. 7, 2014.
Freshman Siyeh Frazier (Detroit, Mich.) scored a career-high 10 points, including two put backs on the offensive end. Frazier's saw a career-high 18 minutes on the court, adding the two rebounds and one steal.
Sophomore Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) tallied 11 points and nearly notched a double-double with a career-high-tying nine rebounds. She added three assists to move into No. 22 on the all-time assists list with 236 career helpers. She surpassed Jenny Krechmar, who handed out 234 assists from 1990-93.
Redshirt-freshman Amari Carter (Washington D.C.) scored 12 points, eight of which came in the first half.
Senior Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) moved past the 900 career point mark with her first bucket of the game and ended the night with 906 career tallies. Mitchell also added a team-best 10 rebounds for her 18th career double-digit rebounding game.
When it comes to the WNIT, Penn State was playing its sixth game in the event and set three team records. The 74 points were the most scored by the Blue and White in a WNIT contest, while the 49 rebounds and five blocked shots were also program bests in the event.
With 07:55 left in the fourth quarter
After Ohio trimmed the Penn State lead back to 10 points, Siyeh Frazier rebounded a Jaida Travascio-Green (Lisle, Ill.) three and put it back for her second such play of the game. That play started a 6-0 run putting Penn State back up by 16. The Bobcats would make a late run, but the Lions would eventually close out the victory.
- G Sierra Moore -- Scored a season-best 20 points for her second career 20-point game and just one shy of her career-high 21 vs. Wagner on Dec. 7, 2014. Pulled down six rebound and added two assists.
- G Siyeh Frazier -- Scored a career-high 10 points off the bench in a career-high 18 minutes. Had two offensive put backs and added one steal.
- G Teniya Page -- Posted her 14th-straight double-figure scoring game with 11 points. Added a career-high-tying nine rebounds and a team-best three assists. Also had three steals in a team-best 34 minutes.
- F Kaliyah Mitchell --Pulled in a team-high 10 rebounds for her 18th career double-digit rebound game. Added eight points to move past the 900-point mark for her career, ending the night with 906 career tallies.
- Bench Scoring --The Lady Lions' reserves provided a much-needed boost, outscoring the Bobcat bench, 28-6.
- WNIT Bests --Penn State notched three WNIT bests in the win over Ohio, scoring the most points (74), grabbing the most rebounds (49) and blocking the most shots (5) in the programs six-game history in the event.
- G Taylor Agler -- Scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and three rebounds.
- G Quiera Lampkins --Notched 19 points and 12 rebounds for the first double-double by an opponent in Pen State's WNIT history. Added five assists.
- Sharing is Caring --Assisted on 12 of the team's 24 baskets.
A slow start hurt the Lady Lions as they missed their first five field-goal attempts leading to a 9-0 lead for the Bobcats and an early Penn State timeout. Good execution coming out of the timeout led to the team's first points from Peyton Whitted. Whitted's basket started a 13-4 run to close out the opening quarter, culminating with an offensive rebound and put back by Kaliyah Mitchell to tie the game at 13.
at Penn State 13, Ohio 13
Back-to-back threes pushed the Penn State run to 19-4 and the Lady Lions held Ohio scoreless for a stretch of 7:17 spanning the first and second quarters. Penn State pushed its lead to eight, 21-13, before Ohio surged back to get within two, 24-22, at the 2:24 mark. Scoring the last five points of the half, the Lady Lions headed to the locker room with an eight-point advantage, 31-23. Sierra Moore led all scorers at the break with 10 points.
at Penn State 31, Ohio 23
Penn State had three early trips to the free throw line only resulted in two points, as both teams struggled offensively for nearly five minutes in the third quarter. Free throws and offensive rebounds helped put the Lions on a 10-point spurt beginning with 4:53 on the clock which pushed the Penn State lead to 18 points. Siyeh Frazier's energy was crucial to the run as she collected six points in the quarter. Both teams traded late threes and the score sat at 52-37 in favor of the home team heading to the final 10 minutes.
at Penn State 52, Ohio 37
Ohio would cut the lead to 10 early on in the fourth with a 3-pointer and back-to-back layups before the Lady Lions would respond with a 6-0 stretch of their own to push the lead back to 16 points. The Bobcats had several looks to bring the deficit to single digits, but offensive rebounds and solid execution helped the Lions maintain their lead. Penn State turnovers helped Ohio again shorten the lead to five before a pair of Lady Lion free throws and a Moore layup would ice the game with under a minute to go.
at Penn State 74, Ohio 65
Penn State will host Fordham at the Bryce Jordan Center in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available via ticketmaster.com.