After mounting a second half comeback, the Penn State women’s basketball team fell to Radford, 63-62, in overtime in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Thursday, March 15 inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
The game consisted of 12 lead changes and nine ties as the Lady Lions (16-16) and Radford (24-8) exchanged blows throughout. Neither team could extend their lead above double-figures as the Highlanders got it up to eight in the second quarter and Lady Lions to six in the opening 10 minutes of play.
Each team capitalized on points off turnovers with Radford holding the slight advantage, 19-17. However, the Highlanders’ bench outscored Penn State’s reserves, 18-8.
After gaining an early six-point lead in the first quarter, Radford (24-8) used a 10-2 scoring run to close out the opening frame with a two-point advantage. The Highlanders led for the remainder of the first half, but were never able to stretch the lead.
At the 8:05 mark of the third period, Kamaria McDaniel (Inkster, Mich.) netted a 3-pointer to give Penn State a 35-34 advantage and sparked an 8-0 Lady Lion run to regain momentum. However, Radford answered by closing out the quarter on an 8-2 run of its own to hold the 47-46 lead heading into the fourth.
Sophomore Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) led the way for the Lady Lions scoring a game-high 16 points and tallying four steals. Carter’s 16 points marked the 26th time this season and 35th time in her career that she reached double digits and she eclipsed the 700-point mark in her career.
Junior Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) had 14 points while grabbing five rebounds. It marked the 17th-straight game that Page reached double digits in scoring and the 78th of her career.
Freshman Alisia Smith (Lansing, Mich.) added 11 points while pulling down five rebounds. It was the second time in three games that Smith hit double digits in scoring and marked her fifth double-figure game of the season.
Radford spread the scoring evenly, with four players in double-figures led by Destinee Walker who had 13 points and eight rebounds. Janayla White added 12 points and seven rebounds while Jayda Worthy tallied 11 points and six boards. Khiana Johnson added 10 points off the bench.
With 0:18 left in overtime
Radford’s Janayla White converted on the second of two free throws to give the Highlanders the one point edge. It would turn out to be the difference as Penn State could not find the bottom of the net on its final possession.
G Amari Carter — Tallied 16 points to lead all scorers while dishing out three assists and grabbing four steals.
G Teniya Page — Added 14 points with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
F Alisia Smith — Scored 11 points with five rebounds, while going 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Block Party — The Lady Lions turned away 10 Radford shots attempts, tying the second most blocked shots in a game this season. It was the third double-digit blocked shot game of the year for Penn State and second-straight.
Forcing the Misstep – Penn State forced 23 turnovers to mark the eighth game this season that Penn State forced 20-plus turnovers.
Stealing the Show – With 15 steals, Penn State registered its 12 double-digit steal game of the season.
G Destinee Walker — Led the Highlanders with 13 points while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists.
F Janayla White — Tallied 12 points, seven rebounds, and a pair of steals.
F Jayda Worthy — Recorded 11 points and six rebounds.
Help off the Bench — The Radford reserves tallied 18 points on the night to outscore Penn State’s bench by 10.
After the Lady Lions came up empty on their opening possession, White opened the scoring with a layup on the opposite end of the floor for Radford. Penn State quickly answered with a Carter jumper that sparked a 6-of-7 start from the field for the team. The Highlanders responded with a 10-2 scoring run to end the quarter and grab the narrow lead heading into the first break.
Radford 17, at Penn State 15
Radford came out running in the second quarter with a transition layup by Johnson followed by a 3-pointer by Walker. McDaniel answered for the Lady Lions with a triple of her own before back-to-back fast break layups by the Highlanders prompted a Penn State timeout at the 6:52 mark. The Lady Lions closed out the half by outscoring Radford 8-3 over the final 5:54 of the quarter, but it wasn’t enough to regain the lead as the Highlanders’ 20 first half points in the paint were the difference.
Radford 31, at Penn State 28
Penn State grabbed the lead back, 35-34, at the 8:05 mark when McDaniel knocked down her second 3-pointer of the night. White was called for the offensive foul at the other end and the Lady Lions responded with an and-1 layup by Smith with the free throw to boot with 7:31 to play in the quarter. It marked a 6-0 Penn State run that prompted a Radford timeout. The run didn’t end there as Carter knocked down a jumper right out of the timeout. The Highlanders’ nearly three-minute scoring drought came to an end when Worthy got inside position for the layup at the 5:29 mark. However, Radford outscored the Lady Lions 8-3 in the quarter’s final 3:41 to regain the lead at the break.
Radford 47, Penn State 46
Penn State opened the scoring and took back the lead, 48-47, when Siyeh Frazier (Detroit, Mich.) picked Lydia Rivers’ pocket and took it straight to the rim for the easy layup 45 seconds in. A quick response from the Highlanders by way of an easy layup by Rivers and a Walker 3-pointer forced the Lady Lions to take a timeout with 7:20 to play down 52-48. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound, drew a foul, and drained both free throws to end a 3:40 second scoring drought. Page then tied the game at 52-52 with a jumper with 6:02 to play. Page followed it up with another jumper to give Penn State the two-point advantage with 4:39 to play. Shortly after, a quick 5-0 run by Radford highlighted by a Johnson 3-pointer gave Radford the lead back with 2:51 left, 57-54. Down by one with 58 seconds to play, Page made a nifty move to the basket that drew a foul and made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to tie the game. Carter forced a turnover on the ensuing possession that led to a scrum and a Radford foul with 32 seconds to play. Page attempted the deep 3-pointer with just seconds left, but came up empty to force overtime.
at Penn State 57, Radford 57
After a the opening 2:10 was dominated by defense, Radford was finally able to put points on the boards when Walker converted the layup. Page then drew a foul on the other end and made both free throws to tie the game at 59. Walker went right back to the rim and put the lead back in the hands of the Highlanders with the lay-in. After falling behind by three with 41.4 to play, Page rose and fired from beyond the arc and was hit on the attempt and calmly made all three free throws to tie the game at 62-62. After a Radford timeout, White was fouled on the block to get to the free throw line where she went 1-of-2 to allow the Highlanders to take a 63-62 advantage with 17.7 seconds to play. Penn State took a timeout to advance the ball to half court, but could not find the final shot it would need.
Radford 63, at Penn State 62