PSU dominates against Bison, 92-49

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State’s Ariel Edwards sat to the right of teammates Jenny DeGraaf, Candice Agee and Kaliyah Mitchell and patiently waited for the question to be asked. Penn State’s second-leading scorer who struggled with her shooting against Connecticut on Sunday anticipated it.

The senior received a pass on the first question as it was directed at Agee, but then it came. The reporter first reminded Edwards of the dreaded numbers – 1 for 13 – before proceeding with his inquiry.

“I knew I was going to get this question,” Edwards said. “Anytime you don’t have a game you are happy with it’s important to come out the next game and get that feeling back and get that confidence back and that is something I looked to do this game.”

And she did.

Edwards scored 14 points, didn’t miss from the foul line, and missed only twice from the floor as she and No. 14 Penn State rebounded from their first loss of the season with an easy 92-49 win over Bucknell on Wednesday night.

The Lady Lions (3-1) were facing an opponent of a different caliber than the one they faced on Sunday when Penn State had its 22-game winning streak at the Bryce Jordan Center stopped by No. 1 UConn, 71-52.

Bucknell, which was picked to finish seventh in the Patriot League, was coming off a 38-point loss at Virginia Tech and had never beaten Penn State in 12 previous attempts.

The Bison (1-3), though, trailed by just one (10-9) after an Alex Henning layup near the 15-minute mark, but Penn State scored 43 of the final 57 points in the first half and took a 30-point (53-23) lead into the break before winning by more than 40 points for the second time this season.

“With the outcome of the Connecticut game more than anything we wanted to play another game to get our confidence back and to get back in the flow of things and back on the right path,” Edwards said.

Audrey Dotson, Bucknell’s leading scorer who was averaging over 20 points a game, was held without a field goal in the first half and just four points. The 6-foot-1 junior forward faced a Penn State frontcourt that alternated five players who were 6-foot-3 or taller, including 6-5 Tori Waldner and the 6-6 Agee.

Shelby Romine, Bucknell’s second-leading scorer, was also held to four first-half points as the senior picked up three fouls in the opening 20 minutes.

Penn State shot 56 percent in the first half and when the Lady Lions did miss, second chances often came. Penn State out-rebounded Bucknell 33-9 in the first half, including 12-2 on the offensive end. The Lady Lions maintained their plus-24 rebound advantage in the second half, out-rebounding Bucknell for the game, 56-32.

“We came into this game knowing that we had some difficult matchups, especially in the post and especially with their size,” Bucknell coach Aaron Roussell said. “They took advantage of us on the boards.”

The Bison, who had four field goals in the game’s first five minutes, were held to one over the last 15. Only a Claire DeBoer basket near the 6-minute mark kept the Bison from being shut out from the field over the final 15 minutes.

Maggie Lucas finished with 17 points for Penn State. Agee scored a career-high 16 points, giving the sophomore her first double-digit scoring game of her career. She added six rebounds, including five offensive.

“She was more active, especially on the offensive glass and that is something that we have been talking about and I thought she did a better job of it tonight,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said.

A season-high five Lions reached double figures. Joining Lucas and Agee were Edwards (14), Mitchell (14) and Waldner (10).

“I thought we had a little bit more balance attack on the offensive end from both the guards and the post,” Washington said.

Dotson still managed to lead Bucknell with 13 points.

Penn State will not play again until after Thanksgiving when it travels to the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. Penn State will open the tournament Nov. 29 against Oregon State. Florida and Illinois State play in the other game.

Bucknell will end its three-game road trip at Cornell on Saturday.