Lady Lions Drop Big Ten Opener to Iowa
Dec. 28, 2007
IOWA CITY, IOWA - The Lady Lions (9-4, 0-1) struggled with turnovers for much of the night and dropped a 67-58 decision to Iowa (8-4, 1-0) in their Big Ten season opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Friday night. Senior guard Kam Gissendanner (Clairton, Pa.) scored a team-high 17 points to surpass the 1,000-point mark for her collegiate career.
In addition to her 17 points, Gissendanner grabbed nine rebounds and had a steal, while freshman Janessa Wolff (Park Rapids, Minn.) posted her first career double-double with career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds, including seven caroms on the offensive end. Brianne O'Rourke (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also reached double figures with 14 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and dished out four assists.
The Lady Lions jumped out to the early lead, posting a 7-3 lead with 17 minutes remaining in the half. Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio) had three points and Gissendanner accounted for four tallies in the early going. However, Iowa would hold Penn State without a field goal for a nearly eight minute span, allowing the Hawkeyes to post a 19-10 lead with 10 minutes left in the opening frame.
A lay-up by Wolff and a three-pointer by Gissendanner pulled Penn State within four points at 19-15 with 7:38 on the clock, but the Hawkeyes scored four consecutive points to extend the lead to eight points (23-15), where it stayed for most of the remainder of the half until Iowa scored nine of the final 11 points of the half to head to the locker room with a 34-24 lead.
The Lady Lions were plagued by 17 turnovers in the first half and shot just 29.6% from the field in the opening period. Gissendanner finished the first half with a game-high 12 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Wolff added five points and five boards.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 38-25 in the first minute and a half of the second frame. Following a Wolff lay-up, Krista VandeVenter heaved a three-pointer from nearly midcourt with the shot clock expiring and found nothing but net to make it a 12-point game with 17:31 left in the game. Penn State would go on an 11-2 run, including a lay-up from Wolff, a pair of three-pointers from O'Rourke and an old-fashioned three-point play from Mashea Williams (Erie, Pa.), to pull within five points (43-38) with just under 14 minutes left in the game.
After Iowa extended the lead back to nine points (47-38), Williams scored the next two baskets and Wolff knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the Hawkeye lead to 47-44 with just under 11 minutes on the clock. However, Iowa scored 11 of the game's next 14 points, including two three-pointers by Kristi Smith, to pull ahead by 11 (58-47) with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
The squads exchanged baskets to keep the lead at 12 points until O'Rourke scored five consecutive points to get the Lady Lions within seven points (63-56) with 1:30 on the clock, but the Lady Lions would not get any closer in the final minute of play.
The Lady Lions return to the Jordan Center for their Big Ten home opener against Illinois on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m., before heading to Michigan State on Saturday, Jan. 5 for a nationally televised game on CBS at noon.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center box office, calling 814-865-5555 or 800-863-3336 or by clicking on the ticket link on www.GoPSUsports.com. The second annual THINK PINK Day is slated for Sunday, Feb. 10 versus Iowa at noon. For more information on THINK PINK Day, visit Penn State's official THINK PINK website at www.gopsusports.com/thinkpink.
GAME NOTES: With a three-pointer at the 7:38 mark of the first half, Kam Gissendanner surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her collegiate career. She needs 15 points to become the 30th Lady Lion to reach the milestone...Gissendanner also reached the 300-rebound plateau for her Penn State career...Freshman Janessa Wolff notched her first career double-double with career highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds...The Lady Lions are now 10-6 in Big Ten openers...The Lady Lions are now 10-6 in Big Ten road openers.