Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio), Kam Gissendanner (Clairton, Pa.) and Mashea Williams (Erie, Pa.) added 12 points apiece. Gissendanner also accounted for six rebounds and three steals, while Williams pulled down six boards, dished out two assists and had two steals. In her first career start, Janessa Wolff (Park Rapids, Minn.) was 4-for-5 from the field and finished with eight points, five rebounds and two assists.
The Lady Lions scored the first four points of the game on buckets by O’Rourke and Gissendanner, but the Wolverines came back to tie the game at 6-6 and eventually take an 11-8 lead with 14 minutes left in the half. The Wolverines continued to lead for the next six minutes until Meggan Quinn (Red Lion, Pa.) drained a three-pointer to even the score at 24-24 with eight minutes to play.
The squads remained close for the rest of the half with neither team taking more than a two-point lead. A jumper by Gissendanner gave the Lady Lions a 33-31 lead with 1:11 on the clock, but a hook shot by Carly Benson with nine seconds to go evened the score at 33-33. On the ensuing possession, Grant picked up her third foul on a charge call and the teams headed to the locker room all-square.
Gissendanner had a team-high seven points in the opening frame, while O’Rourke added five points and four assists. Krista Phillips led the Wolverines with 13 tallies.
Grant gave the Lady Lions the lead on a jumper just 26 seconds into the second period, but the Wolverines reassumed the lead on a three-pointer by Benson. The teams swapped baskets for the several possessions until Grant’s three-pointer sparked an 8-0 run to pull Penn State ahead by six points (49-43) with 13 minutes on the clock. In addition to Grant’s triple, Williams registered a steal and converted on the lay-up and O’Rourke knocked down a three-pointer to complete the Lady Lion run.
The Wolverines scored the next three points of the game to cut the lead in half, but Gissendanner’s jumper stopped the Michigan run and put Penn State back up by five (51-46) with just under nine minutes remaining. The squads swapped baskets to keep the Penn State lead at five points until a driving lay-up by O’Rourke gave Penn State a seven point lead (57-50) with just over six minutes left.
Following a jumper by Ta’Shia Walker, Williams converted on a lay-up off of pass from O’Rourke to put the Lady Lions up by seven (59-52) and on Penn State’s next possession, Gissendanner drew a foul in the lane on Phillips, who was then assessed a technical foul. The Lady Lions drained all four free throw attempts and surged to a game-high 11 point lead (63-52) with 4:16 remaining in the game.
Michigan got a three-pointer from Phillips to pull back within eight (63-55) with 3:21 on the clock, but Rashida Mark (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit the front end of a one-and-one to put Penn State ahead 64-55. A lay-up by Janelle Cooper made it a seven-point game (65-57) with a minute and a half left, but the Lady Lions connected on two free throws and got a lay-up from Grant for the final margin.
-Courtesy PSU Athletics