BLOG: Balanced Offensive Attack Leads Lady Lions To Victory

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<b>Senior Ariel Edwards</b>

Senior Ariel Edwards

Dec. 30, 2013

By Tyler Feldman, Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite playing for the first time in seven days, the Lady Lions had no problems shaking off the holiday rust against Hartford on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Thanks to a well-balanced offensive attack, Penn State stormed past the Hawks, 70-56, to close out its non-conference schedule.

Although the Lady Lions were held without a three-pointer (0-for-8) for the first time since November 30, 201 - a span of 73 games - Coquese Washington received offensive contributions from 10 of her players, five of whom tallied six or more points.

"We're getting great contributions from our bench," said senior guard Maggie Lucas. "I think our starting five is continuing to gel every game. [Dara Taylor] played well and Ariel [Edwards] played well. We're getting a lot of contributions from a lot of people."

The challenging non-conference slate has provided several opportunities of growth for Washington's young squad. From where this Penn State team began, to where they are now, it is clear to Washington that her team is starting to mesh into a dangerous unit.

However, she still feels that this team is smart enough, and talented enough, to continue to make strides on the hardwood.

"I thought we could've had more points if we converted more second chance shots," said Washington. "I thought we got a lot of shots around the basket that didn't fall. We missed quite a few layups and shots in the paint. I think if we made those, we could've had 10 or 12 more points."

Led by seniors Maggie Lucas and Ariel Edwards, who together combined for 33 points, the Lady Lions shot a favorable 28-for-65 from the field (43.1 percent).



While Edwards notched 13 of her 15 points in the first half on 5-of-7 shooting, Lucas was the go-to scorer in the second half, chalking up 10 of her 18 points on 5-of-14 shooting.

"I feel like that's kind of what our team does," said senior forward Ariel Edwards. "Anyone on our team has the ability to score points. I think it just happened in that first half that I was able to get some points and then Maggie took over in the second half."

With the win the Lady Lions notched their fourth consecutive season with at least nine non-conference victories, extending the Blue and White's season record to 9-3.

Moving forward, Washington and her Lady Lions have their minds set on the start of the Big Ten regular season.

"The thing about Big Ten play is there are a lot of different styles that we're going to see," said Washington. "Some play faster, some play slower. Some are more defensive minded. For us, it's going to be a matter of focus and discipline to execute the game plan that we need to do on a nightly basis."

Penn State opens Big Ten play with a tough road test against Iowa on Sunday, January 5. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in Iowa City.

"We're very excited for Big Ten play," said Edwards. "It's something to look forward to. It's our [the seniors] last go around. We're excited to get into that part of our season."

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