Lady Lions Handle Hoosiers

Early explosion helps Penn State dispatch Indiana at the BJC.

Box Score

When Indiana played host to Penn State Jan. 16, the Hoosiers trailed by only three points at the half.

With five minutes gone in the first half of Thursday night's return match at the Jordan Center, it appeared Indiana would be able to keep things close again, as the Hoosiers led the Lady Lions 6-3.

However, a Jennifer Brenden 3-pointer started 29-7 run that any such thought, as Penn State (15-8, 10-2) entered the break up 32-13 and eventually defeated the Hoosiers (9-13, 2-10) 67-45.

Indiana's 13 first-half points were the fewest allowed by Penn State this year. Brenden made her second start of the season and contributed five points and three rebounds in place of Jennifer Harris, who had nine points off the bench.

"Everyone has to understand how important they are to the team and how vital they are to the team concept," Penn State coach Rene Portland said. "It was nice to see [Harris] take the challenge on both ends of the court."

Amanda Brown led the Lady Lions with 12 points and 11 rebounds, posting her third double-double of the season. Penn State outscored Indiana 24-12 in the paint and had 19 second-chance points compared to the Hoosiers' six.

Meanwhile, PSU leading scorer Tanisha Wright added 10 points, but sat out much of the second half with the game already in hand.

At times, Penn State looked out of sync offensively against Indiana, and often scrambled to get a look before the shot clock expired. Going into the game, the Hoosiers ranked first in the conference in field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 36 percent from the field, which is just what the Lady Lions shot.

"I don't think we shot the ball all that well, but a lot of teams aren't right now, so it's important to get in the gym," Portland said.

In the teams' earlier matchup, Hoosier guard Cyndi Valentin scored 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting. However, she had no such luck Thursday, managing just 12 points, the majority of which came late in the game. Wright said Penn State's defensive game plan remains virtually the same every outing.

"We know who the other team's best players are and we make it a focal point to stop them," she said.

Penn State travels to Illinois Sunday. Then come home matchups against Wisconsin and Northwestern, after which the Lady Lions visit Ohio State for the regular-season finale. That game will likely settle the Big Ten title.


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