Photo Credit: Craig Houtz - Penn State Athletics
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Jacksonville women's basketball (3-5) duked it out with Penn State (5-3) Sunday afternoon, falling to the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley. The Dolphins had trouble keeping up in the first half, but made a strong push during the third quarter to nearly even it up. The 'Phins efforts came up short, however, as PSU came away with the 80-61 decision.
It was a slow start for both teams as neither was able to find a bucket during the first four minutes of play. Eventually, Trudy Walker had the Dolphins on the board first with a two-point jump shot, and PSU evened it up on the following possession. It stayed a 2-2 game until 3:49 remained in the first quarter and both teams woke up. PSU ended the quarter on a 10-4 run to make it a 12-6 game. Jacksonville hit just 1-of-12 from the floor in the first quarter, but four points from the free-throw line helped them keep pace.
Jasmyn Brown got the second quarter started with a big three that was followed up by another Walker basket, cutting PSU's lead to four. Then, the Nittany Lions got hot during the later portion of the first half, shooting 58.8 percent and knocking down 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. PSU also blocked eight Jacksonville shots during the first half. Meanwhile, Jacksonville shot just 25 percent from the floor in the half. At the break the score sat at 37-19.
The third quarter was Jacksonville's strongest, as it began with them putting together a 10-4 run. Much of the early damage came from junior Amber Bender, who scored five of her season-high nine points in the third. Jacksonville also hit 3-of-5 attempts from deep in the quarter. With two minutes left in the third, the Dolphins had outscored PSU 21-9 and cut the deficit to six points, but by the time the fourth quarter rolled around the lead was back to 13.
Again, Jacksonville grabbed the first points of the quarter in the fourth and scored 17 in the final 10 minutes, but would get no closer than 10 points before time ran out in the game.
Brown led all Dolphins with 20 points and eight rebounds, the third time she's scored that many this season. Trudy Walker recorded her third double-double in four games with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Bender ended her day with nine points and seven rebounds.
Next, Jacksonville will have 13 days to rest before hosting Edward Waters (7-5) at home on Dec. 15. Jacksonville is 2-0 all-time against the Tigers. The game is scheduled for 2 PM, and will be broadcast on ESPN+.